Sunday, March 22, 2009

Desperation Save, Difference Maker in Game Two

  • It was one of the best saves you'll ever witness, and Kelowna Rockets goaltender Mark Guggenberger has the paddle of his stick to thank. Guggenberger robbed Blazers forward Jimmy Bubnick of a sure goal on an early first period power play, leading the Rockets to an eventual 5-1 - game two win.
  • The save wasn't the deciding factor in the outcome of the game, yet it kept the Blazers at bay after the Rockets got off to a slow start. The save was the result of the Blazers firing the puck inside the zone on an early power play. Guggenberger attempted to stop the puck behind the net, yet it took a funny bounce in the corner and jumped towards the front of the net onto the stick of Jimmy Bubnick. In an effort to recover, Guggenberger dove back towards the net, and with his goal stick extended, got a piece of the Bubnick shot, sending it wide of the open goal. An inch higher and it would have been 1-0 Blazers.
  • The Blazers were given the luxury of a power play just 54 seconds into the game, and created several quality chances off of it. A goal post, Bubnick's glorious chance, and Seth Compton's shot from the high slot that hit Guggenberger in the shoulder, had the visitors scratching their heads. They did everything right but score. Instead the Rockets roared back and got the opening goal from Ian Duval 8 minutes into the first period.
  • How good were the Blazers early? They held a 10-1 shot advantage before the Rockets finally found their game. Once that happened, the Rockets out-shot the Blazers 11-1 in the final half of the opening frame.
  • The Rockets got solid efforts out of Ian Duval and Cody Almond. Duval opened the scoring, but had good jump throughout the game.Cody Almond's worth ethic was tremendous, with his greatest work coming shorthanded. Often times Almond's efforts were recognized with a loud cheer from the 52 hundred fans that were in attendance.
  • The Rockets were 0 for 10 on the power play while the Blazers were 0 for 4. The Rockets did a better job of staying out of the box, but the power play unit is a concern. Look at it being much better in game three Tuesday.
  • Rockets forward Ryley Grantham deserves credit for his two goal effort. Playing on a line with Evan Bloodoff and Mitchell Callahan, Grantham had a solid game offensively, and scored a beauty with a wrist shot to the glove hand side of Blazers goaltender Justin Leclerc to make it 4-0.
  • Games three and four are now back in Kamloops Tuesday and Wednesday. It's a place the Rockets like to play, winning five times in that building during the regular season.
  • Could we see Mikael Backlund in game three? Backlund took the morning skate prior to game two. Backlund hasn't played since getting injured in Kamloops in game 70 of the regular season.
  • The Rockets now lead the series two games to none. Don't expect this team to be overconfident though. The Rockets won the first two games of last years opening round playoff series with Seattle before dropping game three and eventually losing the best of seven - 4 games to 3.
  • Did we see the best of the Blazers Saturday night? My belief is we have not seen the best from the Rockets in the first two games.


KBF said...

We haven't seen the best of either team Regan. The Blazers have put up great efforts, beating Vancouver 3 times, should of been after outplaying them in an OT loss. Dominating the CHL's best team the Hitmen, 5-1. As well as the Ams, Chiefs, Wheat Kings, got a point off the Blades. The potential is there, but the fact is, it just may not be there this season in the playoffs.

entropyyy said...

only time will tell,heading to kamloops you can't argue that a team will have a spring in their step at their rink,its just a matter of the rockets focusing and playing the way they have. I think scoring the first goal will be big too.

Coreyg said...

Yah and when there all crazy blazer fans like KBF, thats always an added boost!!

entropyyy said...

some people will be polishing up their cowbells soon :)