Saturday, January 15, 2011

Peaks and valleys par for the course

  • The Kelowna Rockets were looking at moving into sole possession of first place in the BC Division with a win Saturday night. The Medicine Hat Tigers had other ideas. Linden Vey scored twice and added two assists leading the Tigers to a 5-2 win. Vey was credited with the game winner in the second period before scoring an empty netter with five seconds left in regulation time.
  • The Tigers scored three of their five goals on the power play with Vey's empty netter coming shorthanded. The visitors special teams were 'special' while the Rockets struggled on both the power play and penalty kill. The Rockets were 1 for 6 with the man advantage including going 0 for 4 in the third period when they were attempting to mount a comeback.
  • A rough night for the officials with Derek Zalaski and Matt Thurston making several weak calls. Two terrible calls resulted in power play goals by the Tigers. Jessey Astles gets called for charging while Tyson Barrie takes a tripping minor in the second period. Zalaski calls the penalty on Astles after he clearly misses a hit and runs into a Tiger defenceman's stick. The Barrie penalty comes after Tigers forward Linden Vey losses his balance close to the net and simply falls down.
  • The Rockets also lost Spencer Main and Geordie Wudrick for essentially 17 minutes after both were involved in fights after taking exception to hits on fellow teammates. Both received instigator penalties, plus five minute majors for fighting and 10 minute misconducts.
  • As poor as the officiating was in this game, the good teams are able to work through those struggles. The Rockets just weren't resilient enough after an emotional win the night previous against Portland. It seemed like the harder they tried to pull themselves out of the funk the more fractured their game became.
  • The Rockets found themselves down 2-0 early in the second period before defenceman Tyson Barrie took matters into his own hands with a nice individual effort. Barrie streaked around a Tigers defenceman and appeared to deke around goaltender Tyler Bunz on the forehand. At the last second, Barrie goes to the back hand to make it a one goal game.
  • I was really impressed with the Tigers power play. Using five forwards the majority of the night, the puck movement was quick and crisp. Wacey Hamilton was often the trigger man with one timers.
  • The Rockets close out a four game home stand Wednesday against Prince George. It's a chance for the Rockets to move into first place with a victory.


jeff said...

regan i understand that as part of rocket organization u can only say so much about the officiating before you get in hot water. i on the other hand am not and i can and will. i have reffed minor hockey so i like to think i am very partial and have some idea about the game. i have watched games and when the crowd is screaming murder for the ref for a call against the rockets or a missed call, i will turn to my wife and say "no that was the right call". i have never left a game and thought the ref did a bad game. until this weekend. this zalaski is something else. last night against portland with the goofy warning against brown and tonight with bad calls. one game he affected and he easily could affected the other he needs to realize he is not the show. he made a travesty of the game and the whl officials need to look at his effort and maybe cut him loose from the dub. it is evident he has no future as ref in any higher leagues as his ability is very suspect. while i agree with you the rockets have to fight through a game like the one called as it will make them a better team, sometimes the mountain is just to high to climb, when obstacles are stacked in front of you from a third party.

Regan Bartel said...

I can't argue with you. I thought Zalaski was terrible and the fact he was calling games on back to back night's against the Rockets surprised me. I will say that the officiating is often so poor at this level, I just accept it for the sorry state it's in. The WHL wants a two-referee system but simply their are not enough quality officials to go around.

MG said...

We have seen this before with Smith. On more than one occasion Smith has cost the Rockets a game. That said, and this is true of any team, if the puck is going in the net the ref should not be a factor. Easier to say than do I suppose.

Looking at the score sheet we had 6power play chances and only capitalized on one. Even if the ref was bad it appears the opportunity was there to win the game.

Gord McGarva said...

Dont get me started about #8.

Thurston had a tough game but he is a rookie (in the WHL) and I believe he will be a good ref in the WHL. He brings the right attitude.

Imagine if we had #8 and #12 last night.

Aly said...

Its just really fustrating when the refs are part of the game. Not only did we get some awful calls against us but also the calls they didn't call against med hat, a few hits from behind and what not, it was disappointing. Hopefully we have some better officiating on Wednesday against Prince George.