Thursday, March 12, 2009

Swedish Rock Group Abba Serenades Backlund

  • Mikeal Backlund must have felt at home as he skated onto the ice Wednesday night to accept his award as the games first star. The Swedish forward, who scored twice and added an assist in the Rockets 6-2 win over the Portland Winter Hawks, was serenaded by Swedish rock band Abba who sang Dancing Queen through the Prospera Place sound system. Music man Dan Fogarty can do one better if he can play 'Money-Money-Money' should Backlund get first star honours again. Backlund was 'money' in Wednesday win, his best home ice performance since arriving in Kelowna at the trade deadline.
  • Of the six goals scored Wednesday night against the Hawks, five of them were scored by the 19 year-old age group. Mikael Backlund with a pair, with singles from Jamie Benn, Lucas Bloodoff and Cody Almond was a good sign that the leaders were willing to ramp up their game in the final week of the regular season. Tyson Barrie, a 17 year-old, opened the scoring with a power play goal 6 minutes into the game.
  • The win was the Rockets 44th of the season, and fifth in a row.
  • Rockets head coach Ryan Huska wasn't pleased with his clubs discipline. The home team not only gave up two power play goals, but took the first four penalties of the third period in a relatively tight hockey game. How tight? Had the Hawks scored on a Lucas Bloodoff interference penalty at the 11 minute mark of the third, the score would have been 4-3. Instead the home team scored two goals with under 2 minutes left in the final frame to make the score look like a blowout.
  • Some will argue with Hawks goaltender Keith Hamilton getting the third star in a 6-2 loss, but I handed in my ballot when the score was 4-2, and Hamilton had made 39 saves. I thought the Kelowna resident deserved the star considering he was playing his first game in his hometown against a pretty good offense team. On top of that, Hamilton just turned 17 on March 1st and was playing in just his 10th game of the season. The Hawks are in good hands with Hamilton as the goaltender of the future.
  • Mark Guggenberger didn't face the same workload as Hamilton, but he was tested several times in a first period that had the Hawks trading chances with the Rockets. Guggenberger's best save was a right pad save off of Hawks forward Riley Boychuk when the score was 2-1. It's those timely saves that make a huge difference.
  • The Rockets registered a season high 51 shots on goal. The previous season high was 47 set against the Everett Silvertips.
  • Colin Long, Tyler Myers and Brandon McMillan all had two assist efforts in the win. Myers was a +4 and was named the second star. Myers leads the Rockets with a +30.
  • The Rockets remain one point up on Spokane for third place in the Western Conference with three games to play. The Rockets are in Kamloops Friday, host the Blazers Saturday, before ending off the regular season Sunday in Spokane.


Coreyg said...

I thought it was good game tonight. They came to play despite playing one of these so called weaker teams (about time). I think there going make alot of noise come play off time.

Just quick question Regan not related to this game. Where do you think the rockets 19 year olds will end up next year, who will turn pro who will get traded and who will they keep...thanks.

g.k said...

Hey Regan what's up with St. Denis? I saw the hit he took & it wasn't that hard a hit, it's been almost three weeks now & still not in the line-up, were thinking it's more than just a concussion!!

Rocketwatcher said...

There is a concussion protocol that is generally followed in elite athletic circles that would indicate St.Denis has accumulated the effects of multiple concussions to the point where rapid recovery is not possible. It doesn't take a big hit to jar a brain that is already feeling the effects of earlier episodes. We may not see him again until all symptoms are totally gone..

MG said...

Good for Backlund but I would really like to see him play this way consistantly. He needs to step up against the big teams and every team from now on.

Regan Bartel said...

I think that's what you will see. Backlund's play will accelerate, and I see nothing but the best coming from him in the playoffs.