Sunday, November 14, 2010

When you're hot, team's will hunt you down

  • The Kelowna Rockets should have learned a lesson Saturday night in a 4-0 loss to the Kamloops Blazers. When you are one of the hottest team in the W-H-L, the opposition will be excited at the prospect of playing you and knocking you off your perch. The Rockets were humbled in a game where the Blazers had more jump and didn't stop until the final buzzer sounded. On this night the Blazers were the better team and liked nothing more than having the satisfaction of handing the Rockets their first loss in seven games.
  • The Rockets, meanwhile, had their chances when the game was scoreless. Spencer Main was one of just two Rockets to hit the post, but the real turning point was when the Blazers got into early second period penalty trouble and the Rockets had a chance to bury them on two-5 on 3's. You knew failing to cash in would come back to haunt them.
  • The Blazers broke the game open with three goals late in the second period and it was lights out for Kelowna. The shot clock is often a good indicator of what type of effort the Rockets had in the third with just three shots on goal. The Blazers were not error free defensively in the third period, but it appeared from my vantage point that the Rockets had handed in the towel.
  • Rockets rookie forward Colton Sissons night ended early in the first period when he was hit. Word has it the 17 year-old is out with a concussion.
  • Jordan Cooke came into the game in a relief appearance of Adam Brown for the start of the third period. Brown appeared to tweak a knee late in the second period. Wearing his new pads and gloves, Cooke allowed one goal in his 20 minutes of work.
  • Ken Hitchcock took in last night's game. The former Blazers coach, who most recently guided the Columbus Blue Jackets until he was fired in late February, was seen smiling as his face was shown on the video monitor in the third period. The question Hitchcock was likely asking was, "where are all the fans".
  • Not to make excuses, but the Rockets ended a portion of their schedule where they played seven games in 12 nights. Amazingly the team was 6-1-0-0 over that period.
  • I thought referee Matt Kirk called a solid game. He wasn't without his faults, but who is? What I liked most about Kirk was his ability to let the two teams skate it out in the first period without whistling the play down on a soft call. Kirk and Pat Smith have the privilege of representing the WHL at the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, New York.

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