Kyle Beach Interview

https://od.lk/f/ODVfMjQ0ODY0NV8

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ouch!

  • I think George Brett said it best when he was quoted as saying "If a tie is like kissing your sister, losing is like kissing your grandmother with her teeth out." Last night's 6-1 loss in Portland was tough to stomach. It was ugly. It was the Rockets third straight loss and fifth in six games. Ty Rattie led the way for the Hawks with two goals and an assist. Rattie also got into a fight with Cody Chikie, giving the 17 year-old the Gordie Howe Hat trick. You know it was a long night when Rattie can pull off that feat and designated Hawks tough guy Tayler Jordan scores a goal.
  • A missed 5 on 3 power play about eight minutes into the game really came back to bite the Rockets. With Portland up 1-0, the Rockets had a chance to draw even but failed to score. What usually happens when teams struggle and miss a golden opportunity, the opposition comes back and scores. That's exactly what happened. Four minutes later, the Hawks make it 2-1 and then Shane McColgan's roughing penalty proves costly as the home team scores a power play goal for a 3-0 lead after the opening period.
  • Hawks forward Tayler Jordan takes a first period charging penalty after trying to send Rockets defenceman Antoine Corbin into next week with a big hit along the end boards. Who comes to Corbin's aid? Sixteen year-old d-partner Damon Severson. I mean this fight is over before it even starts, but give Severson credit for even attempting to engage with Jordan. Severson was likely unaware that Jordan fought former Rockets tough guy Ryley Grantham a few times in Jordan's rookie season and fared pretty well. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
  • While few offensive chances were created from the Rockets older players, two rookies had second period opportunities that would have made the score a little more respectable. Zach Franko hits the goal post while Gal Koren is unable to beat Hawks goaltender Mac Carruth on a nice pass from Shane McColgan.
  • In saying that, unlike Friday's 4-2 loss, the Rockets manufactured no where near the same quality chances. It was a easy night for Carruth. The Rockets most dangerous players should be Geordie Wudrick and Brett Bulmer. Those two were essentially non factors. Instead of being difference makes, the two chose to stand idly by.
  • Spencer Main cares. The 18 year-old forward is getting involved in some way. Main, uncharacteristically, has three fighting majors in his last five games.
  • It was nice to catch up with Rockets alumni Joe Suderman. Suderman is in his final year of chiropractic school down in Portland. Suderman chose to take his schooling down in the states because their is only one institution in Canada. Suderman played three seasons with the Rockets from 1998 until 2001 before eventually being traded to the Prince Albert Raiders.
  • At least I have one fan! I noticed a gentleman standing within ear-shot of my broadcast location listening in on the post game show. On a commercial break I acknowledged him and found out that he heads up the Portland Winterhawks booster club. He told me he listens to our broadcasts when the Hawks are in Kelowna and called me "one of the most unbiased broadcasters he's heard". I told him, he must have caught me on an off night! All joking aside, it was nice to hear some positive feedback after what I witnessed on the ice.

Heffley rejoins Rockets

Sixteen year-old Colton Heffley is rejoining the Kelowna Rockets.
A second round pick of the Rockets in the 2009 WHL bantam draft, Heffley attended training camp this year and played in a series of exhibition games.
Believing he would see little ice time, the Rockets sent him back to his hometown of Swift Current to play midget hockey this season.
Why the change of heart?
Well, earlier this week the coach and general manager of the midget Legionnaires resigned. It's believed Heffley then asked for his release.
Rather than play with another team in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League, the Rockets have elected to bring him back to Kelowna for the remainder of the season.

Heffley joins Damon Severson and Jason Siebert as the three-16 year-old's on the Rockets roster.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rockets game notes vs. Hawks

Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets and Portland Winterhawks are meeting for the third time this season. The Hawks have won the two previous games by 5-1 and 4-2 scores. The seasonal series concludes January 4th when the Hawks make a visit to Prospera Place. The Rockets are playing the second game of six in nine nights. The Rockets host Prince George Tuesday before traveling to Kamloops to face the Blazers on Wednesday. The Rockets are in Vancouver next Friday before hosting the Chilliwack Bruins on November 6th. Overall, the Rockets have lost four of their last five games, having been out-scored 22-13.

Rockets recent game: Cody Chikie scored twice in a 4-2 loss last night in Portland. The Rockets would go 0 for 9 on the power play including three chances in a span of over six minutes in the third period with the Hawks holding a slim 2-1 lead. Adam Brown took the loss in goal, making 32 saves. The game featured four fighting majors with Mitchell Callahan, Geordie Wudrick, Spencer Main and Tyson Barrie sitting in the box for no less than five minutes.

Who’s Hot: Shane McColgan had a seven game point streak snapped last night. McColgan had 3+9=12 over that period….Rookie Zach Franko has points in six of his last eight games. Franko has 2+7=9 over that period…Mitchell Callahan has 5+7=12 in his last eight games.

Who’s Not: Evan Bloodoff has one goal in his last eleven. Geordie Wudick has one goal in his first twelve games. Brett Bulmer has one point (an assist) in his last six games.

Fight Club: Tyson Barrie’s five minute major penalty for fighting last night is rare to say the least. Barrie’s only other fighting majors came last season when he was sent to the box along with Calgary Hitmen forward Cody Beach in a game Oct 298/09. Barrie also had a fighting major in his 17 year-old season in a game against the Kootenay Ice. Funny thing is all three of Barrie’s fighting majors in his career have come in the month of October. Geordie Wudrick’s fighting major last night was his first in 123 regular season games. His last fighting major before dropping the mitts with Brett Ponich was November 11/08 against the Calgary Hitmen.

This and That: Cody Chikie’s two goals last night against Portland was the first two-goal game of his career….Colton Sissons assist on Chikie’s second goal was his first point in five games..Wudrick’s third period assist was his first in eleven games…Damon Severson’s assist on Chikie’s first period goal was his first career WHL point….The Rockets are riding a five game losing streak in Portland heading into tonight’s game. The Rockets were 0-2-0-0 last season in Portland losing by identical 3-2 scores. The last win for the Rockets in Portland was March 2, 2008 in a 2-1 victory. Kyle St. Denis and Lucas Bloodoff scored in the win….Defenceman Mitchell Chapman is serving game six of a six game suspension tonight for a kneeing major and game misconduct against the Chilliwack Bruins. Chapman returns to the lineup Tuesday against the Prince George Cougars….The Rockets have scored 34 goals after thirteen games this season. Last season after thirteen games the club had 51 goals….The Rockets have allowed 50 goals against this season. Last season after thirteen games the team had allowed 46 goals against….Last season the Rockets were 7-5-1-0 after thirteen games….Rockets have been involved in seven-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 4-3-0-0 in those seven-one goal games…Adam Brown has started three straight games in goal for the Rockets….Shane McColgan leads the team in scoring with 3+9=12….The Rockets have allowed five power play goals in their last nine games…The Rockets shootout win in Everett October 10th was the franchises 6th shootout victory on the road. The Rockets are 6 and 10 in shootouts on the road dating back to 2005-06, when shootouts were introduced as a way to settle games at the WHL level…..The Rockets were involved in 11 shootout games last season. The Rockets were 7 and 4 in those games…The Rockets have failed to open the scoring in eleven of their first thirteen games this season….The Rockets franchise is playing its 1382nd regular season game tonight. The team has 701 regular season wins….Rockets captain Tyson Barrie has been named to the roster for Team WHL, which will play the Russian Selects next month in the Subway Super Series. Barrie and Team WHL will face the Russians in games in Prince George and Kamloops. Ryan Huska is the head coach for Team WHL.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Missed chances bite Rockets

  • 0 for 9. That statistic alone was the main reason why the Kelowna Rockets were unable to pull out a point in their first visit to Portland this season. The Rockets failed to score on nine power play chances in a 4-2 loss Friday night to the Portland Winterhawks.
  • This was a 2-1 hockey game in favour of the Hawks with about five minutes left to go in the third period. The Hawks would score two quick goals for their 11th win of the season. Cody Chikie scored twice for the Rockets, with his second of the game coming with just three seconds left in regulation time. The loss drops the Rockets record to 4 and 9.These two teams meet again Saturday night in Portland.
  • The Rockets are now 2 for 29 on the power play in their last five games. That's a success rate of 7%.
  • The Rockets energy level was much improved from what we witnessed Tuesday in a 3-1 home ice loss to Brandon. It was nice to see a workman like approach from more than just a handful of players. On this night, only a handful of players struggled.
  • The Rockets had three tremendous chances in the third period to tie the game. Mackenzie Johnston rings one off the post while Mitchell Callahan somehow chops one over the net with the puck on his stick and nothing but a wide open cage. Geordie Wudrick also had a glorious chance, but shot the puck high and wide of the goal.
  • Missed chances on the power play in the third period (three chances in a span of 7 minutes) in a one goal game came back to bite the Rockets. Moments after the Rockets power play expires, Hawks forward Brad Ross sneaks behind rookie defenseman Damon Severson and scores to make it 3-1. Lights out. Game over.
  • Don't slag Severson though. The 16 year-old is out on the ice in a one goal game with five minutes left in regulation time against one of the best teams in the league. What does that say about his ability? I was watching Severson and comparing him with 16 year-old Portland rear guard Derrick Pouliot. Pouliot is a first round bantam pick. Severson was a 9th rounder. In Friday's game, Severson was equally as good, if not better, than his 16 year-old counterpart.
  • Nino Niederreiter was back in a Winterhawks jersey Friday night. Playing with Ryan Johansen and Brad Ross, he looked a little out of sinc as he made the transition back to major junior hockey. Who would have thought the 18 year-old would get into a fight in his first game back? Niederreiter tangled with Rockets forward Spencer Main in a second period tilt after Rockets defenseman Mackenzie Johnston was checked heavily into the end boards. Main will likely be able to say someday when Niederreiter is making some noise at the NHL level, "I fought that guy".
  • The game took two hours and 42 minutes to complete. A piece of plexi-glass at Memorial Coliseum was partially to blame. It popped out twice, once in the first period and again in the third. In the first instance, the two teams were sent to the dressing room with 50 seconds left. After cleaning the ice, the teams returned to play out the period before beginning the second frame.

An audio chat with Nino Niederreiter

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Saying sorry/Brett Bulmer needs to fly around and I want the Roloff's

  • If you missed my Twitter earlier today, I want to apologise to the WHL schedule maker, whoever he or she may be. I have jokingly bad mouthed them over the years for what is often a ridiculous schedule. But I take it all back after seeing that the Rockets are playing two games, on back-to-back nights, this weekend in Portland. Now is it too much to ask if the Rockets can play four straight road games in Prince George? Didn't think so.
  • It was suggested on a comment left on this blog this week that Tyson Barrie and Brett Bulmer are playing selfish hockey. I don't agree. I think both are trying to do too much in an effort to help their team, so it appears to look that way. When you are gifted offensively, these type of players often shoot rather than pass. Top goal scorers all have that similar trait. Jesse Schultz, Justin Keller, Jamie Benn and Chuck Kobasew were all that way. I'm not saying they never distributed the puck, but they were more apt to shoot than pass. The reason few people suggested they were selfish was because they usually scored.
  • In the case of Brett Bulmer, I would like to see him hit people like he did last season. Do you remember the Brett Bulmer of one year ago that went flying around hitting everything in sight despite his slim frame? He was affective and fun to watch. That's what I hope to see from him tonight against the Hawks. Get involved physically and the offense will come.
  • If you had your head in the sand, you didn't catch that the New York Islanders have returned Nino Niederreiter back to the Hawks. Niederreiter was the Islanders 1st pick in the opening round in this summers draft and played in nine NHL games. How odd will it be for the 18 year-old when he takes to the ice tonight at Memorial Coliseum? Two nights ago he was playing in front of 21 thousand fans in Montreal. Tonight is he welcomed by five thousand of the Hawks faithful?
  • I, for one, am glad Niederreiter is back with the Hawks. Why? Any time the Western Hockey League can have a marquee player of his ability, it's never a bad thing. That, and I will never be a fan of the NHL taking 18 year old junior players and pushing them into the pro's prematurely.
  • The Rockets can only hope that the return of Neiderreiter has some of the Hawks players either trying to be too perfect or simply stepping aside to let 'Nino' do all the work. Do I think that will happen? No. Do I hope it will? Of course.
  • Wish for a low score tonight. A high score spells trouble for the Rockets. Exchanging chances with the Hawks is playing with fire. Just ask the Kamloops Blazers, who lost 8-6 to Portland earlier this month.
  • In looking at the Hawks roster in the new WHL guide, I was shocked to learn that Max Gordichuk and Matt Betcker are still on the team. Obviously it was in error, but it struck me odd that the Hawks had two over-over-overages, considering Gordichuck was born in 1986 and Betker was born in 1989.
  • I've known this for years, but it doesn't impact you until you purchase something in Oregon. No sales tax. I bought some D-3's, as I attempt to fight off a cold. What was the price tag on the item? $9.99. What price did I pay? 9.99. It's just another reason why I love Oregon.
  • Over the last couple of years I've really been impressed on how the Hawks organization puts on a terrific off-ice show for its fans. The caffeinated hopped up host in the stands and the cheerleaders are a great touch. But do you know what would really impress me? How about Amy and Matt Roloff singing the national anthems? I will admit the Bartel family watches 'Little People - Big World' religiously. I hear the Roloff farm is about a half hour outside of Portland.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

31 million reasons why Rockets are valued in Kelowna

The Kelowna Rockets Hockey Club released the details of an economic and social impact assessment conducted by UBC Okanagan.

The study shows the indirect economic impact of the team on the city of Kelowna is 31 million dollars annually. Of that 31 million, the direct impact the team has on the community is 3.9 million dollars annually. That includes everything from staff wages, advertising, players salaries and billet expenses.

Professor Kenneth Carlaw overlooked the study, which took about a year to complete.
The Rockets hope to use the study to attract future high profile events like the 2013 Memorial Cup.
The Saskatoon Blades conducted a similar study in 2009 which showed the annual impact of the Blades was 10.8 million.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rockets end four game home stand on sour note

  • The Brandon Wheat Kings snapped a nine game losing streak last night. Who were the victims? The Kelowna Rockets. Shayne Wiebe and Mark Stone each scored once and added an assist as the visitors won for the first time in ten games. The Rockets dropped to 4 and 8 with the loss, their 6th in eight games in front of the home town crowd.
  • The two teams were tied at one after 40 minutes, but the Wheat Kings came out flying in the third. A huge shift from Wiebe, Stone and Paul Ciarelli resulted in the three buzzing the Rockets net and then scoring 49 seconds into the final frame.
  • It looked like the Rockets had tied the game on a Cody Chikie goal. Linemate Geordie Wudrick had a hard shot go off of Wheat Kings goaltender Liam Liston before hitting Chikie in the upper body before sailing into the net. On video replay, it showed that Chikie moved his shoulder to re-direct the puck into the goal.
  • Aside from the controversial non-goal, the Rockets stubbed their toe twice, with two power play chances late in the third period with the Wheat Kings holding a slim 2-1 lead. Both power plays generated little in the way of offense, with the visitors creating the best scoring chances when they were down a man.
  • The Rockets ended up going 0 for 5 with the extra man while the Wheat Kings failed to score on two chances.
  • The Rockets were so desperate to generate something positive in the offensive zone that they used defenceman Tyson Barrie as a forward for a portion of the third period.
  • Why Wheat Kings forward Mark Stone was left off the three stars is beyond me. Gord and I no longer take part in the three star selection at home games, yet I feel we need to apologise for the lack of good judgement on behalf of those in the media area that ignored Stone. Nothing against Brandon goaltender Liam Liston, but he didn't have to have a solid game to lead his team to the road win. He was steady, but not spectacular.
  • Goaltender Adam Brown was the best Rocket on the ice from our vantage point.
  • Where was the physical play? The Wheat Kings seemed to ramp it up as the game wore on yet the Rockets, the more rested of the two, didn't follow.
  • What's the good news? The Rockets go on the road. It may sound odd, but this team plays better away from Prospera Place. Sure, the Rockets have played just four games on the road but they look a lot more comfortable away from Kelowna than they do at home. That indeed has to change.

Rockets game notes vs. Wheat Kings

Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets and Brandon Wheat Kings are meeting for the lone time this season. They last met on December 11/09 in Brandon with the Wheat Kings earning an 8-4 win. Jay Fehr had four goals in the win. Shane McColgan had a goal and an assist in a losing cause. The Wheat Kings last visit to Kelowna was Oct 25/08 in a 3-2 win. Colby Robak led the Wheat Kings attack with two goals. Tonight’s game is the fourth and final game of a four game home stand, which has seen the Rockets out-scored 15-10. The Rockets are 1-2-0-0 during that period. Following tonight’s game, the Rockets travel to Portland for back-to-back games Friday and Saturday night. The Rockets next home game will be Tuesday November 2nd against the Prince George Cougars.

Rockets recent game: Mitchell Callahan scored twice in a 4-3 shootout win over the Everett Silvertips Friday night. Tyson Barrie would score once during regulation time and once in the shootout – the game winner – in the team’s 4th win of the season. The Rockets were 2 for 8 on the power play with goaltender Adam Brown earning the games first star.

Who’s Hot: Shane McColgan is riding a six game point streak heading into tonight’s game. McColgan has 2+9=11 over that period….Rookie Zach Franko has points in five of his last six games. Franko has 2+6=8 over that period…Mitchell Callahan has 5+7=12 in his last six games.

Who’s Not: Evan Bloodoff has one goal in his last nine. Geordie Wudick has one goal in his first ten games. Wudrick’s longest goal drought last season was 11 games. Rookie Colton Sissons has one point (a goal) in his last seven games.

This and That: The Rockets are playing three Tuesday night games at home this season. Tonight’s game against the Wheat Kings is followed by Tuesday November 2nd against Prince George and Tuesday December 28th against the Everett Silvertips.…The last time the Rockets played a game on this date was October 26/05 in a 4-1 home ice loss to the Prince George Cougars. Kirt Hill scored the lone goal for the Rockets, who had seven players in their lineup that night that have played at least one NHL game… Two members of the Kelowna Rockets have over 300 penalty minutes in their career. Mitchell Callahan (380) may not be a surprise, but is Geordie Wudrick (307)?…Defenceman Mitchell Chapman is serving game four of a six game suspension for a kneeing major and game misconduct last Friday against the Chilliwack Bruins. Chapman won’t return until a game November 2nd against the Prince George Cougars….The Rockets have scored 31 goals after eleven games this season. Last season after eleven games the club had 46 goals….The Rockets have allowed 43 goals against this season. Last season after eleven games the team had allowed 38 goals against….Last season the Rockets were 6-4-1-0 after eleven games….Rockets have been involved in seven-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 4-3-0-0 in those seven-one goal games…Rookie Jordon Cooke has started four of the Rockets last six games. The 17 year-old earned his first WHL win against the Tips on October 10th….Shane McColgan leads the team in scoring with 2+9=11….The Rockets have allowed four power play goals in their last seven games…The Rockets shootout win in Everett October 10th was the franchises 6th shootout victory on the road. The Rockets are 6 and 10 in shootouts on the road dating back to 2005-06, when shootouts were introduced as a way to settle games at the WHL level…..The Rockets were involved in 11 shootout games last season. The Rockets were 7 and 4 in those games…The Rockets have failed to open the scoring in ten of their first eleven games this season….The Rockets franchise is playing its 1380th regular season game tonight. The team has 701 regular season wins….Rockets captain Tyson Barrie returned to the lineup last Wednesday after missing the last five games with an injury. Barrie has misses a total of seven games because of injury this season…Barrie has been named to the roster for Team WHL, which will play the Russian Selects next month in the Subway Super Series. Barrie and Team WHL will face the Russians in games in Prince George and Kamloops. Ryan Huska is the head coach for Team WHL.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Things that make me go hmm....

  • It's sad but true. Ask a Kelowna Rockets season ticket holder if they could name two current players on the Brandon Wheat Kings roster. I bet you they would be hard pressed to name one. "I think Luke Schenn's brother plays on that team, doesn't he?" That may be as close as some would get, and no, Brayden Schenn is still with the LA Kings. That response shows you how big the WHL truly is and the lack of attention the Western Conference fan pays to the Eastern Conference teams that make a visit here. I am sure the same could be said if things were reversed.
  • I feel for the Wheat Kings, I really do. It's brutal sitting idly by watching and hoping that a player returns to junior from the NHL. The LA Kings are giving Brayden Schenn every opportunity to make that team and the Wheat Kings would like nothing more than to have him return for his 19 year-old season. What would Schenn mean to the Wheat Kings? Is he not a two point a game guy if he returns to Brandon? That would make a world of a difference. How much better would the Rockets have been last season if Tyler Myers would have been sent back? Would an additional ten to fifteen wins be out of the question?
  • This is what Kings head coach Terry Murray said about Schenn earlier today.“He’s a young guy, 19 years old, who is going to be a real good hockey player. We just need to continually pull him aside and talk to him about his shifts, reviewing the video and putting an emphasis on the checking part of the game. Whenever I talked to him, at the start of the year, we’re talking about point production all the time, and that’s where he’s coming from as a player. To me, it’s not that. Points will come. It’s good to see your name on the score sheet when the game is over, but for Schenn right now, the important thing is understanding the checking part of it. The part of the game that we value greatly is play without the puck, and there are some issues, some areas of the game that he’s breaking down, in our own D-zone coverage, so we’ll go back and talk and do some practice and get him back in again.”
  • This one from colour analyst Gord McGarva. McGarva points out that the 2009 WHL champion Kelowna Rockets were 4 and 7 after 11 regular season games. McGarva goes on to say the 2010 champion Calgary Hitmen were also 4 and 7 in their first 11 games last season. In case you are wondering why I bring up that point, or McGarva does, the Rockets are also 4 and 7.
  • Do I think they (Rockets) will win a WHL title and follow a similar path of the 2009 and 2010 winners? For that to happen several members of this team will have to come out of an early season slumber.
  • Does Mitchell Callahan's impressive start have the coaching staff re-thinking the exclusion of the 19 year-old as an assistant captain? Points aside, Callahan has been the teams inspirational leader and on most nights sets the tone with a tenacious fore check or big hit. I can't see the coaching staff stripping one of the current veterans of an 'A', but Callahan's play should inspire those with leadership qualities to step up their game and 'bring it' like the California resident does.
  • It was nice to essentially have the weekend off to do whatever I pleased. The schedule maker had the Rockets playing just one game...Friday against the Everett Silvertips. I was told to enjoy it because it won't last. Following back-to-back games in Portland this weekend, the Rockets begin a stretch of playing six games in 9 nights. If things go well and winning becomes the norm, the schedule doesn't look as daunting. Go on an extended losing streak and the nine days feels like it will never end.
  • The Rockets players used Sunday off to hit the ice for their annual Halloween skate. This is a private function where the players dress up and laugh at each others costume. Most of them are quite creative. I've been told 20 year-old Evan Bloodoff had the best costume. Any photo's taken will be kept behind closed doors.
  • Speaking of Bloodoff, Evan's older brother Lucas is playing Canadian college hockey this fall. Here is picture of him taken from the St. Mary's Huskies website.
  • I marveled the other night at the length of the game between the Everett Silvertips and Vancouver Giants. The game was played in one hour and 43 minutes. Is that the quickest game since the fast face-off was implemented? The Everett bus driver must have just turned off his diesel engine at Pacific Coliseum only to restart it quickly after being notified the game was already over.

Talking with Hockey Canada's head scout

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Here is a conversation I had with Kevin Prendergast, who is Hockey Canada's head scout for the Canadian World Junior Team. Prendergast was in Kelowna Friday night watching the Rockets and Tips.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Johnny jumps up in the play in overtime.

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It was great to see Rockets d-man Mackenzie Johnston rewarded with crucial ice time in overtime Friday night. Johnston used that extra ice time to create a good scoring chance. It would have been his first career goal.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Brown's ludicrous left pad save the difference

  • Adam Brown must have been told by someone when he was a young kid to never give up. It was clearly evident Friday night that the Kelowna Rockets goaltender took it to heart in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Everett Silvertips. Tips captain Landon Ferraro appeared to have Brown at his mercy in the shootout with the puck on his forehand and the upper half of the net wide open. But Brown, miraculously, kicked out his left pad in desperation, sending the puck out of harms way. It was that save and Tyson Barrie's game winning shootout goal that helped the Rockets snap a three game home ice losing streak.
  • Brown was the best player on the ice, but Tips goaltender Kent Simpson wasn't bad either. Simpson made a nice save off of Rockets defenceman MacKenzie Johnston in overtime with a nice glove hand grab. When Simpson wasn't making a nice save, he had help from his friends, as forward Spencer Main hit the goal post in overtime with Simpson down and out and a teammate doing his best at playing the role of goaltender. The Tips could have complained about having no puck luck Friday night, but Main would also have a case.
  • How about having 17 year-old Rockets defenceman MacKenzie Johnston on the ice in overtime? Coach Huska says Johnston deserved the chance after outperforming several of his teammates during regulation time. That has to give the second year d-man a boost of confidence. Hopefully he can build on that.
  • Mitchell Callahan had another strong game. He is the most consistent player on the Rockets roster right now and is flourishing with line mates Shane McColgan and Zach Franko. Callahan scored twice while Franko had two assists.
  • The win didn't come easy. Despite scoring two power play goals, the Rockets failed to respond on two 5 on 3's. In fact, the Tips came back from a 3-1 third period deficit to earn a single point.
  • The best Tip? I liked how European d-man Rasmus Rissanen got involved in a first period fight with Mitchell Callahan after a teammate was hit hard by the hard charging Callahan. I thought Scott McDonald played a determined game and Josh Birkholz showed he was a threat to score. I often found that Birkholz was 'pass happy' and wanted to distribute the puck rather than just shoot it, but he got better as the game wore on.
  • The Rockets scratched 20 year-old Geordie Wudrick. You had to know something had to give with the skilled forward scoring just once in his first ten games.
  • Team Canada head scout Kevin Pendergast took in the game and was seen watching Tyson Barrie, Kent Simpson and Ryan Murray closely. If you missed the interview I had with him in the second intermission, I will share his comments on this blog later this weekend. Pendergast is in Chillwack Saturday night to see Bruins forward Ryan Howse perform.
  • Former Rockets' d-man Darren Deschamps was at Friday's game. Deschamps is spending a few days in Kelowna with Rockets assistant coach Ryan Cuthbert as his tour guide.

Rockets game notes vs. Tips

Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets and Everett Silvertips are meeting for the second of four times this season. These two teams met back on October 10th with the Rockets earning a 4-3 win in a shootout. The Rockets erased a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes by scoring three times in the third period before earning the two points on shootout goals by Geordie Wudrick and Shane McColgan. Following tonight’s game, these two teams hook up again December 28th at Prospera Place before closing out the seasonal series February 13th in Everett. The Rockets enter tonight’s game riding a three game home ice losing streak. The Rockets have been out-scored 17-10, with losses to Kamloops, Portland and Vancouver. The Rockets last home win was October 9th in a 3-2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. Tonight’s game is the third game of a four game home stand. The Rockets host the Brandon Wheat Kings Tuesday before traveling to Portland for back-to-back games October 29th and 30th.

Digging Deeper: The Rockets and Tips are meeting at Prospera Place for the first time since last years opening round playoff series. Games three and four were played here, with the Rockets earning a 5-3 win in game three and a 5-4 overtime victory in game four. In game six, also in Kelowna, the Rockets were a 5-4 winner. Four of the seven games in the series were decided by a single goal. During the 2009-2010 regular season the Rockets suffered 5-4 and 6-2 losses at home to the Tips.

Rockets recent game: Shane McColgan and Mitchell Callahan each had a goal and two assists while Spencer Main scored twice in the Rockets 7-5 loss Wednesday to the Vancouver Giants. The Rockets found themselves down 2-0 after one period before scoring five unanswered goals to take a 5-2 lead. The Giants would then score the next five goals in the come-from-behind victory. Kevin Smith also scored in the setback. The Rockets were 0 for 3 on the power play while the Giants were 3 for 4 with the extra man.

Who’s Hot: Shane McColgan is riding a five game point streak heading into tonight’s game. McColgan has 2+8=10 over that period….Rookie Zach Franko has points in four of his last five games. Franko has 2+4=6 over that period…Mitchell Callahan has 3+7=10 in his last five games.

Who’s Not: Evan Bloodoff has one goal in his last eight games. Brett Bulmer has one point in his last five games. Geordie Wudick has one goal in his first ten games. Wudrick’s longest goal drought last season was 11 games.

This and That: Kevin Smith’s goal Wednesday was his first in a Rockets uniform. Smith is no stranger to scoring goals after replying four times in the Moose Jaw Warriors final seven games last season….Spencer Main is playing in his 125th WHL game tonight….Main’s two goals Wednesday were not a first for the three year forward. Main had a two goal game January 30th against the Medicine Hat Tigers…Defenceman Mitchell Chapman is serving game three of a six game suspension for a kneeing major and game misconduct last Friday against the Chilliwack Bruins. Chapman won’t return until a game November 2nd against the Prince George Cougars….The Rockets have scored 27 goals after ten games this season. Last season after ten games the club had 42 goals….The Rockets have allowed 40 goals against this season. Last season after ten games the team had allowed 33 goals against….Last season the Rockets were 6-3-1-0 after ten games….Rockets have been involved in six-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 3-3-0-0 in those six-one goal games…Rookie Jordon Cooke has started four of the Rockets last five games. The 17 year-old earned his first WHL win against the Tips on October 10th….Shane McColgan leads the team in scoring with 2+8=10…. The Rockets are 6 for 29 in their last five games (20.7%) on the power play….The Rockets have allowed three power play goals in their last six games. The Rockets have 17 kills in 21 penalty killing attempts over that stretch….The Rockets shootout win in Everett October 10th was the franchises 6th shootout victory on the road. The Rockets are 6 and 10 in shootouts on the road dating back to 2005-06, when shootouts were introduced as a way to settle games at the WHL level…..The Rockets were involved in 11 shootout games last season. The Rockets were 7 and 4 in those games…The Rockets have failed to open the scoring in their first ten games this season….The Rockets franchise is playing its 1379th regular season game tonight. The team has 700 regular season wins….Rockets captain Tyson Barrie returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing the last five games with an injury. Barrie has misses a total of seven games because of injury this season…Barrie has been named to the roster for Team WHL, which will play the Russian Selects next month in the Subway Super Series. Barrie and Team WHL will face the Russians in games in Prince George and Kamloops. Ryan Huska is the head coach for Team WHL.