Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An ugly win, but a win all the same

  • Over the course of 72 regular season games, a team is going to play well and lose and play sub par and win. It would be safe to say the Kelowna Rockets have had better outings following a 6-2 victory Wednesday night over the visiting Prince George Cougars. The Rockets were counting their blessings being up 3-1 after twenty minutes before the penalty killing unit came alive in the second period by killing off essentially six minutes of power play time as the Cougars attempted to crawl back in the game.
  • Cody Chikie had a two goal game with the 19 year-old having the best jump of any of the Rockets skaters in the opening twenty minutes. It was Chikie's third-two goal game of the season. He scored two goals in games against Portland and Kamloops.
  • It would be safe to say Spencer Main had a quiet four assists. Tyson Barrie had four assists December 9/09 in a win over the Regina Pats.
  • A high five to 16 year-old Rockets rookie Colton Heffley, who was involved in his first WHL fight with a 20 year-old. Cougars forward Taylor Stefishen dropped the gloves with Heffley in the third period in one of two scraps in the game.
  • The biggest hit came courtesy of Cougars defenceman Jesse Forsberg on Rockets rookie Colton Sissons. Forsberg initiated a clean hit at center ice as Sissons was retrieving a pass. As soon as Forsberg threw the hit he was ready to engage with Rockets defenceman Kevin Smith who tangled with him in a scrap.
  • While I criticized the officials following Saturday's game against Medicine Hat, I have to throw out a bouquet to veteran official Pat Smith for his performance Wednesday night. You didn't notice him, and that was a good thing. He called a solid game. I am under the belief that Smith calls a better game when he is the only official on the ice. Smith was the lone man wearing the orange arm band and he avoided over calling a game that he had no business doing.
  • I had a really nice chat with Cougars owner Rick Brodsky before the game. Despite my years in the WHL, I have never spoken to the man. It was a pleasure talking to him and getting his take on what appears to be a hatred hockey fans of Prince George have towards the ownership group there. I will attempt to share the interview over the next couple of days.
  • The lopsided score allowed the Rockets coaching staff to rest some of the players that will see a lot of ice time over the next three night's. Tyson Barrie saw little ice time in the third period as Colton Jobke, MacKenzie Johnston, Kevin Smith and Zach Stebner received the bulk of the workload. D-man Mitchell Chapman was hurt in the first period and didn't return after being hit into the boards by Cougars forward Jaroslav Vlach.
  • Zach Franko now has the longest point streak of any Rockets player this season. The 17 year-old extended his point streak to eight games with an assist on Mitchell Callahan's third period goal.
  • The win moved the Rockets into sole possession of second place in the BC Division, one point up on Prince George and one point back of Vancouver for first place in the division. The Rockets hold two games in hand on the Giants.
  • Both team's played without a key offensive threat. The Rockets didn't have leading point producer Shane McColgan in the lineup while the Cougars were without leading goal scorer Brett Connolly. McColgan was at the Top Prospects Game in Toronto while Connolly watched from the press box after suffering an injury.
  • The Rockets open a U.S Division road trip Friday night in Seattle. The team stops in Spokane Saturday before visiting the Tri City Americans on Sunday.

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