Friday, January 15, 2010

Disappointing finish won't erase a great game

  • Clearly it was one of the most entertaining games at Prospera Place this season, yet the home team didn't even win. Luke Walker scored the game winning goal in the shootout Friday night leading the Portland Winterhawks to a 5-4 win. The Hawks rallied back from a 2-0 first period deficit in the victory.
  • The best player on the ice - again - was Rockets defenceman Tyson Barrie. Barrie put in a 'Lance Armstrong' type of effort in the one goal loss. Barrie had three assists and was a huge threat in overtime when the teams were playing 4 on 4. Barrie's lung capacity allowed him to move with speed at both both ends of the ice while creating the best scoring chance in overtime and helping his team kill off a Hawks power play. Barrie almost sent Rockets fans into a frenzy when he found teammate Shane McColgan with a perfect pass at the side of the Hawks net. Despite scoring once and assisting on two others, McColgan fired the puck wide of the goal.
  • McColgan ended the night with three points and also managed to score the lone shootout goal for the Rockets in the losing cause.
  • A missed call in the neutral zone when the Rockets had a 2-0 first period lead was a tough pill to swallow for the home team. The non-call saw the Hawks gain possession with Luke Walker beating goaltender Adam Brown with a rising shot to the glove hand side. That goal was the first of three in a row for the Hawks, who could have been down 3-0 had a penalty been called and the Rockets replied on the power play.
  • Despite the non-call, referee Derek Zalaski was consistent both ways and was anything but whistle happy. Overall not a bad game from the one official. I would take Zalaski's performance over a two referee system where the play is often times whistled down because of several soft calls.
  • Zalaski did give the Hawks a power play in overtime though, after a kneeing penalty to forward Brett Bulmer. Zalaski had no other choice but to make that call.
  • Dallas Jackson downplayed his effort in his Rockets debut but the 20 year-old d-man was a calming influence with his veteran presence which was clearly evident to the 61 hundred onlookers. Jackson was eating up big minutes which took away playing time specifically from seventeen year-old Colton Jobke and 16 year-old MacKenzie Johnston. The Rockets were awarded just one power play which didn't allow Jackson to show off his real strength.
  • Codey Ito spent a significant amount of time playing alongside newcomer Sean Aschim and Max Adolph. I liked the 'all Saskatoon' line, which generated some good pressure for three players who are still enjoying the ups and downs of a rookie season in major junior.
  • Ito got clocked by Hawks forward Tayler Jordon in a huge second period hit that knocked Ito's helmet off of his head. What was more impressive than the hit was Ito returning a few shifts later.
  • The biggest save of the game may have come from Rockets captain Lucas Bloodoff. Bloodoff helped out his goaltender by pushing a puck away from the goal line after Hawks rookie Ryan Johansen made a nice move away from Brown and attempted to tuck the puck inside the far post on his forehand. Bloodoff comes from no where and shoots the puck out of harms way.


divad said...

Super entertaining game against the winter hawks.. One of our goalies is in net will have to step up his game Brown is inconsistent to say the least. I thought guggenman was suppose to be our #1 when he was healthy if they are gonna make noise in the playoff huska has to stop changing his tender and ride one guy to the finnish.. i hope gugger is in net against red deer...

jk said...

I don't understand why Barrie gets so much love! Yes, he is a good player, is he an elite player? I don't think so, at least not yet. He often thinks he needs to do it all by himself with numerous end to end rushes which then leave him either stuck in the offensive end or sucking air to try to get back to help cover the 2 on 1 going the other way.....he needs to remember he is a d man, especially when killing penalties...he needs to be more reponsible to his own end of the ice! 1st star last night, he almost scored on his own goal and gave up a 2 on 1 when he couldn't get back into the defensive end after one of his jaunts into the offensive end. Just my rant for today!! I did think last night was a really entertaining game!

MG said...

jk, I could not agree more. Barrie is good, but someone here said he will be a top three WHL D-man. I hope I am wrong but I don't see it. You are right in that he often tries to do everything himself and although his offence is excellent I think he really needs to work on his defence in his own end. Maybe with Jackson around he will grow a bit into a more rounded player.

Regan Bartel said...

I said it. Lets clarify what you consider as a top three defenceman. Are you look for a complete shutdown guy? If so, Barrie will never be in the top three..he's not that type of player. If you looking at his tremendous upside offensively and then appreciate his efforts in his own zone, then you can't argue with the 18 year-olds output. Barrie is the second leading scorer in the WHL when it comes to defenceman, and is the highest scoring 18 year-old d-man in the league. Tyson is one of only two Rockets this season who is a + when it comes to plus/minus. He is my vote for captain next season.