Saturday, March 7, 2009

Leap Frog'n Into Third

  • Did you ever play leap frog as a kid? The Kelowna Rockets played their own version Friday night with a 3-1 win over the Chilliwack Bruins. The win, coupled with the Spokane Chiefs 2-0 loss in Prince George, allowed the Rockets to leap frog over the Chiefs into third place in the Western Conference with five games left in the regular season.
  • The Rockets now have 88 points, four more than the 84 they had all of last season.
  • What a great start for the Rockets in this one. Lucas Bloodoff scores just over a minute into the hockey game and you knew the visitors were serious about putting in a good effort. Riley Grantham used his big body and muscle to slid a puck to the front of the net where line-mate Stepan Novotny roofed one over the shoulder of Bruins goaltender Lucas Gore to make it 2-0, putting the Rockets in the driver seat. It could have frankly been 3-0 at the break, but Gore made a sensational save off of Cody Almond to keep the score just two-zip.
  • Speaking of Grantham, it may have been his best effort in a Rockets uniform this season. I thought the Bruins struggled handling him when he was cycled the puck.
  • Gore was deserving of the games third star. He was the only thing keeping this game close. Despite being out-shot 12-2 in the third period, Gore stood tall, eventually leading to the Bruins erasing Mark Guggenberger's shutout bid 6 minutes into the final frame.
  • Mitchell Callahan earned his 18th fighting major of the season with a third period scrap with Bruins defenseman Brandon Manning.
  • The Rockets earned their 17th road win of the season, matching their road win total from one season ago.
  • The Rockets end off the seasonal series with a record of 6-0-0-2 against the Bruins, outscoring them 33-13.
  • The Bruins have trailed 44 times this season heading into the third period. Of those 44 times, they've rallied back to win just three times.
  • Rockets forward Kyle St. Denis failed to make the trip. Expect him to return to the lineup next week.

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