Friday, December 17, 2010

Rockets move into first place

  • The leaders on the Kelowna Rockets deserve a lot of credit for keeping their teammates focused in a 5-1 win over the Calgary Hitmen Friday night. Often times it's tough to focus, especially when you are playing the final game before the Christmas break. But 20 year-old's Zak Stebner, Geordie Wudrick and Evan Bloodoff all found the score sheet in the teams 19th win of the season.
  • Brett Bulmer had a career high four points. With a goal and three assists, Bulmer enjoyed success playing with Shane McColgan and Zach Franko. McColgan had two goals and an assist while Franko had two helpers. Franko was moved onto that line with the absence of Mitchell Callahan, who was at the USA World Junior training camp.
  • Stebner's goal against his old team had to feel good. The Hitmen traded him away to Tri City before the 20 year-old eventually landed in Kelowna. It was Stebner's first goal in a Rockets uniform and third point wearing Kelowna colours.
  • Geordie Wudrick scored his team leading 16th goal of the season. That's one better than Mitchell Callahan. Wudrick even attempted a lacrosse type of move with the puck behind the net, but failed to score. If you have no clue what I am talking about, Kyle Beach scored a goal using that same move a few seasons back. Essentially what Wudrick did was pick the puck up with his stick behind the net and in mid-air attempted to swing around the net before depositing it behind the startled Hitmen goaltender. It didn't work, but you can bet Wudrick will give it another try before the season is through. Here is a link to Sydney Crosby doing it.
  • McColgan's three point night moves him into a tie for the team lead for points at the Christmas break. It's interesting to note that McColgan led the Rockets in scoring at the Christmas break last season too.
  • Fifteen year-old Jesse Lees made his Rockets debut against the Hitmen and I liked what I saw. Lees looked more comfortable than Madison Bowey did in his debut Wednesday night against the Hurricanes. Lees had the advantage of playing a few exhibition games, so the transition from the speed of midget hockey to the junior game likely wasn't as great. Both defenceman are going to be dynamic players in this league. As TSN's Pierre McGuire would say, "get excited Kelowna".
  • It feels good to be in first place. The win moved the Rockets into first place in the BC Division, one point better than Vancouver. First place in the BC Division means the second seed in the conference.
  • It was likely a quiet bus ride back to Kelowna after the game with only five on board outside of the bus driver. Only two players went back to Kelowna on the bus with the remaining 21 flying out of Calgary early Saturday morning.
  • The Rockets don't return to action again until December 28th.


MG said...

I'm I wrong or do that standings show we are in second behind PG.

Interesting though, we are still tied for second in the losses department with 15.

I think at this point in the season the Rockets look really good, especially within the BC division. However, the BC div. is by far the weakest of the four. There are 8 teams with more than PG's 39 points in the WHL. In fact Seattle and Everett are only one point behind the Rockets but are taking the last two spots in the US div.

I guess on a more positive note we beat some great eastern teams this year already, but could we take them in a 7 game playoff series...I am note so sure.

I wonder what the new year will bring. Maybe a Fin ?? That would be cool.

deejay said...

What’s with the Western Conference this year if you take out Portland with 53 points its like a dog fight with only 11 points difference between Spokane 43 points and Kamloops 32 points that really not that much of a gap it exciting you don’t really know what’s going to happen with Kelowna since there is 38 games to go to the end of the season