Saturday, January 29, 2011

Feeling good in first place

  • The Kelowna Rockets entered the month of January with a thud following a 5-2 loss to the Spokane Chiefs and then exited it Saturday night with ecstasy after a 7-3 win over the Vancouver Giants. Geordie Wudrick had three goals as the Rockets scored five times in the third period for their 29th win of the season. The victory moves the Rockets into first place in the BC Division, one point up on Vancouver with two games in hand.
  • It was Wudrick's third-three goal game this season. The 20 year-old also had three goal games against Chilliwack and Regina. All three hat tricks have come on home ice.
  • Both teams were tentative in the opening period with little in the way of offense. The Rockets came alive and took over the play in the second period and were rewarded for their efforts with two quick goals from Brett Bulmer and Geordie Wudrick. Despite the onslaught, the Giants wouldn't go down easy after scoring a late goal to make it a one goal game going into the third period.
  • The Giants found themselves in late second period penalty trouble which allowed the Rockets to enjoy a 5 on 3 to start the third period. Mitchell Callahan scored to give the Rockets a 3-1 lead, and while it wasn't the decisive goal, it went a long way in not allowing the Giants any momentum to get back in the game.
  • This game featured a few soft goals. Wudrick's hat trick goal appears to go off of teammate Cody Chikie before making its way short side on Giants goaltender Mark Segal. Adam Brown also has the puck go off his shoulder and past him on a weak back hand from Giants forward Greg Lamoureux.
  • Jesse Astles deserves a pat on the back for his knock-out punch on Giants forward Connor Redmond. Astles sends the 17 year-old to the ice with a solid right in a third period scrap.
  • Zach Franko had a goal and an assist, extending his point streak to 13 games.
  • After a tightly called game against Prince George, it was anything but against the Giants a night later. The two officials allowed the team's to decide the outcome. This game wasn't dirty and wasn't overly chippy, so Trevor Hanson and
    Jon Stephenson didn't have to officiate it with an iron fist. I will admit I was a little surprised that Giants forward Michael Burns was not credited with a penalty shot after being hauled down on a third period breakaway.
  • The NHL All-Star break allowed former Rockets alumnus Cody Almond and Brandon McMillan to take in Saturday's game.
  • Former NHL coach Ken Hitchcock also watched the game in the press box.
  • Thanks to Kevin Parnell for helping me out in a colour analyst role as Gord McGarva sat the weekend out with illness.


jaz301 said...

What a game. I was expecting a lot closer game than that. Even though it was the same score as the PG game, this one was way more entertaining. I was also expecting the game to be a lot rougher than it was as usually they are with the giants.

Not sure if it just where I was sitting, but the crowd seemed to be really into the game. Was a great atmosphere in there. Even got our section standing at the end(which I wish we would see more of.)

MG said...

This is great. I hope we can stay there until the end of the season as right now we would face Kamloops in the first round. Dropping a few place puts us at risk of facing Spokane or Tri-cities....not my first choice

Aly said...

Big win for the rockets, they definitely deserve first place in my opinion. It was sweet to see almond and mcmillan there last night. Hopefully the rockets can keep this winning steak going!! Also good job to astles, great fight!