Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rockets Top End Talent Responds In Big Game

  • The Kelowna Rockets wanted to punctuate the point that if they meet the Vancouver Giants along the playoff trail, the top team in the Western Conference is in a heap of trouble. Jamie Benn elected to deliver the message courtesy of a goal just 1:09 into overtime leading the Rockets to a 3-2 win Saturday night.
  • What makes the win impressive was the Rockets ability to battle back after trailing 2-1 heading into the third period. Not only did they get the equalizing goal on a hard shot from Tyler Myers to tie the game at two, but they killed off a HUGE penalty to Cody Almond late the third, which saw the Rockets play 40 seconds of overtime shorthanded.
  • It doesn't happen often, but the league's leading point getter missed two tremendous chances to seal the win for the Giants. A late missed opportunity by Casey Pierro-Zabotel at the side of the net with a wide open goal followed by a point blank chance on the power play in overtime came back to haunt the visitors.
  • While the Rockets scored just once in the final period, the final frame was their best. Colin Long was extremely good down the stretch causing headaches inside the Giants zone. Of the seven shots the Rockets took on Giants goaltender Tysen Sexsmith in the third, all seven were quality scoring chances. The majority of the Giants shots in the third were from long distance or were of the perimeter variety.
  • Giants head coach Don Hay called a timeout three minutes into the third period to give his team a tongue lashing. After seeing three consecutive icings on passes that were on the tape but couldn't be handled, Hay called the timeout sensing that his team was loosing it's mental focus. The Rockets sensed it too, ramped up their game in an effort to get the equalizing goal, which they did shortly after that timeout was called.
  • Another great defensive effort by the entire defensive core, including Tyler Myers. Myers was hurt in the 1st period after missing a hit inside the Rockets zone. Despite leaving the ice in a crouched position, Myers shook off the pain and returned for a shift late in the first period.
  • Brandon McMillan's speed on the back end is really coming in handy on a team that is shutting off passing lanes to the Rockets forwards. McMillan is simply using the opportunity to skate the puck up ice with his tremendous speed, and using his good wheels to recover loose pucks in foot races inside the Rockets zone.
  • Evan Bloodoff should be complemented for his play. Bloodoff showed great speed and energy to create some quality chances inside the Giants zone. While he fails to reach the score-sheet often, his desire to contribute to the overall good of the team is evident.
  • The win was the Rockets 43rd of the season and keeps them one point up on Spokane for third place in the Western Conference with 4 games left to be played.
  • Garry Nunn had a great game for the Giants. Nunn used his speed to the outside to create some good chances and generally won battles inside the Rockets zone. Nunn was the Giants best forward by far.
  • You are doing something right defensively when Evander Kane and Casey Pierro-Zabotel fail to hit the scoresheet.
  • The loss against the Rockets keeps the Giants win total on the road at 27, one off the league record of 28 wins on the road in a season held by three teams.


Boondocker said...

After 3 wins in a row to Van and a win against Calgary, it must be the three losses to the lower ranked teams that keep them from cracking the top 10 in the chl.

IMO, they should now be on that list.

George Graham said...

The 25 losses don't help the cause.

Regans, shouldn't it be "responds"?

George Graham said...

You are welcome, Regan.

Regan Bartel said...

George you are a good man. Can you do my taxes?

George Graham said...

No taxes, but I will gladly read your blog, unlike yourself. :)

Regan Bartel said...

Posting these blog entry's at midnight often leads to making mistakes, or not seeing the errors you do make. Thanks for reading.