Sunday, November 8, 2009

Road Rash

  • The Kamloops Blazers handed the Kelowna Rockets an early Christmas present, and it wasn't a bag of coal. Tyler Shattock's power play goal in the third period was the back breaker in the Blazers 5-3 home ice win last night at Interior Savings Centre. Oddly enough Saturday's game is the final time these two rivals will meet before Christmas, with the two teams getting together to renew acquaintances on December 30th.
  • Despite Shattock's late power play goal the Rockets were able to score a shorthanded marker to make it 4-3. Jimmy Bubnick ended the scare with an empty netter to make it a 5-3 final.
  • While the Blazers received three consecutive power plays in the third period, the most laughable was when Blazers forward CJ Stretch received a goaltender interference penalty two minutes into the final period. Maybe I don't understand the rule, but it appears that if ANY contact is made by a player on the goaltender it's a penalty. Even if you are pushed in or your momentum causes you to touch the goaltender, you are forced to sit for two minutes.
  • I was told that the Blazers played one of their best games over the last month at home which makes me feel good about the Rockets game. While a loss is nothing to cheer about, I thought the Rockets played a pretty good road game. Sure their were miscues defensively, but Kamloops committed just as many as the Rockets did.
  • A few plays stick out in my head that shows the skill level of two young players. Shane McColgan hits Blazers forward Colin Smith off the puck as he attempts to move inside the Rockets zone. McColgan makes solid contact with Smith and in one quick, effortless move, takes the puck away and skates up ice. The other play that I marveled at was Brendan Ranford picking up a hard - high pass at the Rockets blueline and skating in on a partial breakaway. For Ranford to accept that pass on his stick and make it look routine just shows you the skill level of one of the league's top 17 year-old forwards. Both plays would be greater appreciated if seen on video. By explaining them just doesn't do them justice.
  • A fight between Curt Gogol and Josh Caron had Gogol's hand bloodied and bruised. Gogol was nursing his hand in the penalty box and didn't play after that fight. I will say it again, a broken knuckle or finger from a fight where both combatants have their helmets on is always a distinct possibility.
  • I hope the Rockets did some maintenance on their dressing room prior to gearing up for last nights game. Less than 24 hours earlier the flu infested Edmonton Oil Kings share that same room. The flu bug is so bad for the Oil Kings that several of the players have been transported in a van during their recent road trip as not to infect teammates on the team bus.

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