Thursday, October 8, 2009

They can't all be Picasso's

  • In the game of hockey sometimes you play good and you lose and sometimes you play bad and you win. Let's just say the Kelowna Rockets 6-5 shootout win Wednesday night over the visiting Medicine Hat's was no Picasso. The Rockets built up a 3-0 first period lead only to see the Tigers score three times in a span of 49 seconds to tie the game at three. The Rockets would need a goal from rookie Cody Chikie in the shootout to register their 4th straight win.
  • After a terrible start, the Tigers got better as the game wore on. After struggling on three power play chances in the first period the Tigers regrouped in the 1st intermission and got right back into the game with three quick goals. Not only did the Tigers score four times in the second period, but they fired 17 shots on Rockets goaltender Adam Brown in the middle frame. Instead of a blowout for the home team, the two teams were tied at 4 heading into the final frame.
  • Much like the Rockets, the visitors were not without their miscues on defense. Rockets forwards Brandon McMillan and Kyle St. Denis were both able to score shorthanded goals as the Tigers power play struggled, going 0 for 6.
  • The two goals from Brandon McMillan extended his point streak to a career high 6 games. It was McMillan's first goals since the 19 year-old scored in the final game of the regular season last year against the Spokane Chiefs. McMillan ended Wednesday's game with three points.
  • Spencer Main had a goal and an assist for a career high two point game.
  • Adam Brown will admit he struggled Wednesday night, yet he made some big saves down the stretch when the game was on the line. Brown had no chance on the tying goal from Tigers leading scorer Bretton Cameron with 16 seconds left in the third period and made some solid saves in the shootout, allowing just one goal on 6 shooters.
  • Rockets d-man Kyle Verdino left in the second period after crashing into the corner boards feet first. Verdino appeared to hurt the same ankle that he broke in a car accident this summer. Tigers forward Joey Frazer was given a 5 minute major and game misconduct for a hit that warranted a penalty, but in my opinion, not a game misconduct. In saying that, I thought a two minute minor that Tigers forward Kale Kessey was issued in the first period on a vicious hit on Rockets d-man Curt Gogol behind the Rockets net deserved far more than a 2 minute minor for charging.
  • It looks like 17 year-old Tyler Bunz has won the #1 goaltending duties away from veteran Tiger Ryan Holfeld. The twenty year-old didn't even make the trip with the team which tells you his days with the Tigers are over. GM/Coach Willie Desjardins has to be pleased with overagers Bretton Cameron, Tomas Kundratek and Mark Isherwood.
  • The game featured former teammates with the Swift Current Broncos battling it out as WHL assistant coaches. Rockets assistant Dan Lambert and Tigers assistant Darren Kruger were teammates with the Swift Current Broncos in 1989, the year the team won the Memorial Cup. Kruger was 20 at the time. Lambert was just 18.
  • Jeff Finley was seen in the scouts room before Wednesday's game. Finley was an assistant coach to Ryan Huska last season before deciding to leave the organization to become a scout with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings.
  • Check back later today when I post my conversation with Willie Desjardins on coaching Canada's entry at the WJHC.

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