Sunday, January 2, 2011

Getting blitzed by the Blazers

  • If you want to be a good goaltender at the Western Hockey League level, a short memory is crucial. The Kamloops Blazers coaching staff can rest assure that 20 year-old netminder Jeff Bosch doesn't let past poor performances bother him. After letting in three soft goals in a 7-1 loss in Kelowna Thursday night, Bosch rebounded with a solid effort in his teams 5-1 win over the Rockets Sunday night. Bosch, who was named the games third star, was extremely good early in the game and made a spectacular right pad save on Rockets forward Max Adolph on a power play late in the game to prove the point that he wasn't rattled after being pulled after two periods at Prospera Place. While Bosch was terrific at one end, Rockets goaltender Adam Brown was only average in the teams 17th loss of the season.
  • The one real bright spot for the Rockets was the play of back up goaltender Jordon Cooke who replaced Brown after the Blazers 5th goal. Cooke came into the game in a relief appearance and was razor sharp, making 18 saves. It was Cooke's first appearance since a 3-2 shootout win in Lethbridge back on December 15th.
  • For a second straight game the Rockets appeared to miss defenceman Tyson Barrie and Mitchell Callahan. Again, defensive miscues were common place and a solid fore-check was hard to establish. Give the Blazers credit for building up a 3-0 lead after one period and never letting off the gas pedal. For the Rockets, even getting the transmission into first gear appeared to be a daunting task on this night.
  • The Rockets again struggled on the power play, going 0 for 6. Over the last three games the Rockets have failed to score a power play goal in 17 chances.
  • Rookie forward Zach Franko scored his first goal in 12 games.
  • This game featured two fights including a tilt between 16 year-old Rockets rookie Tyrell Goulbourne and Blazers spark plug Chase Souto. Souto was involved in his 8th fighting major of the season while Goulbourne found himself in the first scrap of his major junior career. The second fight had 17 year-old's Shane McColgan trading punches with Blazers forward Colin Smith. These two players pride themselves on putting up points but decided that pummeling on each other was a better option. My concern in the McColgan fight is the fear that the Rockets leading scorer could break a hand or knuckle.
  • Sunday's loss marked the first time since October 30th that the Rockets gave up five or more goals on the road. The Rockets gave up six in a 6-1 loss to the Portland Winterhawks.
  • The Rockets played the majority if not the entire third period without forward Colton Sissons, Tyrell Goulbourne and Kevin Smith. The injuries to those three are unknown at this time but will be evaluated early next week.
  • Goulbourne ended his four game stint with the team Sunday night. The likable Edmonton product will return to his midget team for the remainder of the season.
  • The Kamloops Blazers are getting their fans to sell season tickets. If I understand it correctly, the organization is offering a 100 dollar bill by referring friends and family to be a season ticket holder with the team. The pitch man for the promotion on the video screen at the Interior Savings Centre was Blazers captain Chase Schaber, with a crisp 100 dollar bill in his hand.
  • I was surprised to learn that the Blazers hockey club has essentially cut off player and coach accessibility to the Kamloops Daily News. The local newspaper was issued a letter from Blazers ownership before Christmas saying the decision was made because of negative reporting by the paper towards the hockey club. That means veteran WHL writer Gregg Drinnan is unable to obtain quotes from the hockey club and is forced to interview the opposition team instead. In a day and age where WHL teams like the Seattle Thunderbirds and Portland Winterhawks are thirsting for more media coverage, be it positive or negative, the Blazers theory is they are best served by radio, TV and the Internet.


MG said...

Now I didn't see the whole game so maybe Regan can help me out but at the end of the first we are down three and down 4 mid second. Why isn't Astles challenging someone to get his team pumped ? So McColgan has to go with Smith after Franko scores one......this is straight out of the twilight zone of junior hockey.

Look I am not a fight freak but man we need a guy who will play that roll.

MG said...

Whoops I didn't see the Goulbourne fight, but still he is a rookie who is about the size of a goal post...

Regan Bartel said...

Goulbourne is well put together. Trust me, he did very well against Souto, who knocked out Chilliwack Bruins d-man Zack Habscheid in a fight earlier this season.

MG said...

You know I watched both scraps and Goulbourne did well.

But HOLY.....hats off to McColgan. One of the smallest guys on the ice and he went for it, not just for the sake of a fight but to get his team going. Thats awesome and shows some heart.

Still by then it was too late.

Gregg Hansen said...

Roast: To the Rockets 18 yr. old fan that taunted my 13 yr. old son after the 7-1 loss in Kelowna on our way to the parking lot. There really is no place for bullying at WHL games. My son should be allowed to wear a Blazers jersey and cheer for the guest team without being mocked and belittled. I can understand the nature of this healthy rivalry but leave a kid alone. This brave fan made these comments after the game and after a few too many beers. I hope this fan enjoyed the rematch. Things usually have a way of coming full circle.

Gord McGarva said...

Tyrell Goulbourne ‘ain’t’ no goal post. Tyrell is a very solid and fit 16 year old.

Goulbourne is great kid for sure and will be a favorite in a Rockets uniform in the future.

Regan Bartel said...

Gregg, thanks for leaving a comment and visiting the blog.
On behalf of that fan, I apologize. As a father of twin boys (7 years old), I agree that friendly banter is one thing, but you and your son should feel as welcome in our arena as a Rockets fan is in yours.
There is always one idiot who leaves a black mark.
I hope you make a return visit in the future and your experience is a good one.

Ryan said...

McColgan is the one who is the size of a goal post.

MG said...

ummm am I missing something here ?

Goulbourne is 5'11" and 170
McColgan is 5'10" and 160

Not much difference really given the 1" of height.

Goulbourne is still young and will grow but will have to grow a ton to go with the WHL heavies. I don't know much about him but I hope he becomes a great Rocket !!
My point is that we do not have a real tough guy and if Astles is the guy then he needed to step up last night.

Regan Bartel said...

Not sure if a fight would have changed the complexion of the game frankly.

Ryan said...

Point is Mr Sunshine suspected a negative comment about a player (even though what you said wasnt negative, just a fact) But remember he is a great kid, because somewhere in your post he figured you didnt know that.

Gord McGarva said...

Sunshine is good.

Aly said...

McColgan definitely held his own. Callie would have been proud lol