Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rockets can't buy a bounce

  • Kamloops Blazers goaltender Kurtis Mucha had luck on his side Wednesday night. Kelowna Rockets goaltender Mark Guggenberger couldn't find any. Mucha saw no less than three pucks get by him, but hit the post, in the Blazers 4-1 road win. While Mucha was getting help from his 'skinny red friends', Guggenberger couldn't get a break. The Blazers scored 7 seconds into the game when an innocent rim behind the Rockets net took a funny bounce off the end boards and came squirting out to the top half of the crease for an easy tap-in by forward Dalibor Bortnak. All Guggenberger could do is watch helplessly as he was attempting to play the puck behind the net.
  • Bortnak's goal 7 seconds into the game is two seconds off the WHL record. Dean Sexsmith scored five seconds into a game back in 1987 when Seattle beat Victoria 7-6.
  • Guggenberger's misfortune continued in the third period when rookie forward Ryan Hanes took a sharp angle shot from essentially the red end line that caught the left pad of Guggenberger and went in. Hanes' goal gave the Blazers a 3-1 lead.
  • While Mucha had the goal posts to thank, the veteran goaltender made some great saves and was full marks for being named the games first star. Mucha's save off of Mitchell Callahan in the first period on a two-on-one was stellar and his left pad save off of rookie forward Jessey Astles in the third was impressive.
  • Despite giving up two odd goals the Rockets showed good effort despite having 8 regulars out of the lineup. No question they were snake bitten around the net, but the coaching staff have to be pleased with the jump the team showed in this one.
  • Blazers forward Mark Hall left the game in the first period after he was hit by teammate Tyler Shattock. Shattock was attempting to hit Rockets defenceman Tyson Barrie along the end boards when Barrie sidestepped the check and Hall somehow become the recipient of it. Hall's helmet popped off his head and had to be helped off the ice by trainer Colin Robinson.
  • I liked rookie forward Brett Bulmer playing on a line with Shane McColgan and Mitchell Callahan. The trio created some great scoring chances. Bulmer is too skilled to be playing on a line with two marginally skilled line mates.
  • Lucas Bloodoff missed his 12th straight game with a knee injury. His leadership is missed.
  • It was likely a first and few would have even noticed. Early in the first period Rockets rookie defenceman MacKenzie Johnston is on the ice with defensive partner Colton Heffley. Both players were born in the same city, Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Johnston is just 16, Heffley is just 15. Heffley made his WHL debut against the Blazers along with 15 year-old forward Tyrell Goulbourne. Both players saw limited ice time.


J.S. said...
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jaz301 said...

Yeah it was not a great night for Guggenberger and the rockets. Guggenberger was getting bad luck. And the rockets hitting the post 3 times. We had a lot of good chances, but just could not seem to get the puck in the net.