- Opportunity knocked Sunday night and the Kelowna Rockets answered the door. The Rockets, playing their 4th game in five nights, used two goals from Zach Franko in a 4-3 win over the Tri City Americans. One of Franko's two goals came on a rare two-on-none breakaway with line-mate Mitchell Callahan. MacKenzie Johnston, with his first career goal in 89 games, and Jesse Astles also scored, snapping the Americans 13 game home ice winning streak.
- The Americans are usually opportunistic, but it was the Rockets that did a better job of capitalising on their opponents miscues. As mentioned, to see Franko and Callahan skating up ice on a breakaway with no American defenders in sight doesn't happen often. If you combine that gaffe with an off night from Tri City goaltender Drew Owsley, the Rockets were in a good position to beat the Americans at the Toyota Center for the first time since 2006.
- Jordon Cooke received the start in goal against the Americans and again proved he is more than a capable backup. Cooke wasn't required to make any highlight reel saves, but the Americans spent a significant amount of time buzzing inside the Rockets zone. Cooke also received some help from a cross bar when the Americans were trying to get back into the game on an extended 5 on 3.
- That 5 on 3 penalty kill was likely the turning point. The Rockets are leading 3-2 late in the second period before Jesse Astles is called for charging and then moments later Mitchell Chapman receives a high sticking minor. The Rockets kill off the 1:51 two man advantage and go into the second intermission up by a goal.
- Another sign of a tough night for the Americans was when Adam Hughesman is standing all alone in front of the Rockets net and shoots the puck off the post with Cooke at his mercy. That missed chance came in a one goal game and was just another sign that this wouldn't be the Americans night.
- I was really impressed by Carter Ashton. The Americans forward scored twice and showed no hesitation in shooting the puck. Rockets d-man Tyson Barrie didn't register a point in last night's win, but his main role was playing against Ashton on the Americans top line.
- Zach Franko now has an 11 game point streak. Franko has 6 goals in six games and has 7 goals and 8 assists in the month of January.
- Line mate Brett Bulmer has a seven game point streak. Bulmer has 3+8=11 over that stretch. Bulmer has 12 points in January.
- The coaching staff elected to put Franko on a line with Mitchell Callahan and Brett Bulmer. Forward Shane McColgan was bumped off that line.
- The number 13 played a prominent role in last night's game. The Rockets snapped the Americans home ice winning streak at 13 games. The Rockets handed the Americans their 13th loss of the season and the Rockets won for the 13th time on the road this season. I can't take credit for that observation. Americans broadcaster Craig West gets credit for pointing that out.
- Pat Smith was the lone referee Sunday night and once again he had a solid outing. Smith wasn't a factor in the game and simply let the two teams play. Good communication skills with the players and a non-cocky approach made him look like the veteran official that he is. What I liked most about Smith was his ability to communicate with the player who thought a penalty should be called. Smith has a quick word with him on why a call wasn't made and quickly skates back up the ice.
- A blue collar crowd attends Americans home games and the atmosphere in the building is second to none. They are a loud bunch and I love how they all stand on their feet in the final minute of the game as their team attempts to score the equalizing goal. Can you imagine if Rockets PA Announcer Bill Barnes yelled out over the sound system, "Get on your feet and help out your team". It wouldn't happen. In Tri City it works and you have to applaud the fans for getting behind their team.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Gutsy effort, great weekend
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- Astles fight audio
- Feeling good in first place
- Chikie chimes in with four points in Rockets win
- Game notes vs. Cougars
- By the numbers...
- Things that make go hmm...
- I like this mascot
- Gutsy effort, great weekend
- Beating the big dog
- Rockets snap two game road losing streak
- Welcome to Kent
- Rockets game notes vs. T-Birds
- Luke Schenn dances and does well
- Brodsky on low crowds in Prince George
- An ugly win, but a win all the same
- Rockets game notes vs. Cougars
- McColgan will show speed at Top Prospects
- Things that make go hmm...
- Hot 'Bunz'
- Peaks and valleys par for the course
- Nothing short of outstanding
- Rockets game notes vs. Hawks
- Meeting Myers
- Adam Brown moving up the list
- No deals by Rockets didn't mean no movement
- Not one call
- Rockets keep quiet
- Three Rockets ranked
- Eakin deal prank
- The calm before the storm?
- Barrie leaving Rockets
- A seasonal series which doesn't make sense
- Rockets fall for 4th straight time
- Not good
- Gorges undergoes season ending surgery
- Game notes vs. Warriors
- Amazing comeback or total collapse?
- Callahan wins bronze
- Callahan will have time to crash
- Things that make me go hmm...
- Barrie goes for gold
- Getting blitzed by the Blazers
- Game notes vs. Blazers
- Rockets get wake up call
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