Thursday, November 11, 2010

They can't all be pretty

  • Hockey can be a cruel game. Sometimes even when you outwork the opponent, you find yourself on the losing end. The Edmonton Oil Kings found that out Wednesday night in a 2-1 loss to the Kelowna Rockets. The Oil Kings likely deserved a better fate, yet left Prospera Place without even a single point. Instead the hometown Rockets were just good enough to extend their winning streak to five games and move out of the basement of the Western Conference for the first time this season.
  • The Rockets played a sleepy game, with little urgency in their overall play. On this night the Rockets looked content to do as little as possible to squeeze out a home ice win. The one exception was goaltender Adam Brown. Brown was the reason why his team earned two points and moved within a game of the .500 mark in their 9th win of the season.
  • Brown's best save, or saves, came with about six minutes left in the third period with the Rockets holding that slim 2-1 lead. Brown twice robbed Oil Kings forward Josh Lazowski on a mad scramble in front of the net. Lazowski must still be shaking his head on the bus after having two glorious chances to score, only to be denied by the 19 year-old goaltender.
  • It was mentioned to me after the game that a goal mouth scramble in front of Brown late in the game is just another sign of how things are going for the Rockets right now. With the Oil Kings goaltender pulled for the extra attacker, the puck just wouldn't go in no matter how hard the visitors tried. Three weeks ago, the puck sitting in the Rockets crease would have somehow made its way past Brown. It's nice to see, don't get me wrong, considering the Rockets have had their fair share of bad bounces this season.
  • Geordie Wudrick opened the scoring early in the first period, but on this night the flood gates wouldn't open wide. Oil Kings goaltender Jon Groenheyde was steady in earning third star status.
  • Tyson Barrie scored the game winning goal on a seeing eye wrist shot that beat Groenheyde glove hand side. The goal extended Barrie's point streak to six games. Mitchell Callahan picked up an assist on Wudrick's opening goal, extending his point streak to five games.
  • The media/scouts room was filled to the rafters as NHL personnel gathered to see the likes of Oil Kings forward Michael St. Croix and the Rockets' Shane McColgan. Neither had exceptionally strong games. Both were involved in the play, but neither accomplish great things.
  • The best forward on the ice? T.J Foster showed good speed and scored the Oil Kings lone goal on a 5 on 3 power play. Even without the goal, Foster was the best skater.
  • It's only fair to mention that referee's Brett Montsion and Matt Thurston called a good game. That said, it must have been easy as neither team wanted to push the other around physically. The two teams combined for just 24 minutes in penalties.
  • The Rockets took time out before the game to recognize those lives lost in war with a moment of silence on the eve of Remembrance Day. The jersey's worn by the team, with a Remembrance Day theme, were auctioned off with the proceeds going towards the Kelowna Legion.


Glen Erickson said...

Surprised we haven't heard more about Cody Chikie's effort on the first Rocket's goal. Where did that burst of speed come from, to that loose puck?? A nice dish to Wudrick, and a good shot. But that tally was all "Chikie"!

Regan Bartel said...

Agreed Glen. Good point. Nice speed and energy. Thanks for pointing that out.