Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rockets crash back down to earth

  • So much for a seven game winning streak. You can now make it two straight losses. The Kelowna Rockets left Prince George Saturday night feeling anything but world beaters after back-to-back losses to the Cougars. After losing 4-2 on Friday night, the Rockets were shutout 3-0 by the same team 24 hours later. The only good news following the loss Saturday night was the knowledge that the Vancouver Giants fell 5-2 to the Kootenay Ice. So, despite two losses on the weekend, the Rockets sit only three points out of first place in the BC Division.
  • Saturday's game saw the Rockets play on equal footing with the Cougars in the first period, but again missed chances in the opening frame appeared to deflate them. Failing to capitalize on a first period 5 on 3 didn't help, but point blank scoring chances by Zach Franko and Evan Bloodoff seemed to rattle the Rockets.
  • It was a rough weekend for the power play, which went 0 for 14.
  • After a strong opening period the Rockets fell apart. Two quick goals in the second period chased starter Adam Brown, who was replaced in goal by rookie Jordon Cooke.
  • Cooke was the only reason the score stayed 3-0. Cooke was spectacular the rest of the way. The Rockets are in good shape with Cooke. The 17 year-old may be a rookie, but the scouting staff made no mistake with this find. I have as much confidence when Cooke is in goal as I do when Brown is the starter. This could be one of the best goaltending tandems this team has had in a long time.
  • Is 19 year-old forward Mitchell Callahan that valuable to the team? I guess so. Callahan sat out both games on the weekend as he recovers from a hit to the head. Callahan's battle level was sorely missed.
  • Colton Sissons missed both games on the weekend after tweaking his groin in warm up. Losing your best 'board battler' didn't help either.
  • The 3-0 loss marked the fourth time this season the Rockets have been shut out on the road.
  • You have to give props to Rockets defenceman Mitchell Chapman. Chapman fought Cougars 20 year-old Sena Acolatse in the third period after Chapman hit 16 year-old Troy Bourke heavily into the side boards. Chapman didn't cower, but showed some character by standing in there and engaging with a much more experienced fighter in Acolatse.
  • Why didn't someone pop Cougars forward Charles Inglis in the kisser after he took a shot after the whistle hitting Cooke in the head? Maybe I'm being a little sensitive being a former goaltender? If I was Cooke, I would have given my teammates an ear full or gone after Inglis myself.
  • Is Troy Bourke the best 16 year-old in the Western Conference? He won't get much media attention outside of Prince George, but the kids a player.
  • It was nice to run into Jim Swanson at Saturday's game. 'Swanny' is moving on after getting dumped by the Prince George Citizen newspaper in November. To think the paper had a gripe with him because he provided too much hockey coverage. That's like firing a car salesman for selling too many cars. If management thinks the masses that read the 'Citizen' would like more information on the local bowling scene, they are sadly mistaken.


MG said...

That is an interesting comment about no one going after Inglis. I little while back I criticized Astles for not stepping up when needed and again here we are wondering if he is playing his role or not. Given he is only 17 ( I think) but if that is one of his jobs.....Look at JC Lippon he is young and knows his role to a tee.
As for the losses, I think we will be fine it is just a little glitch. The team has shown a ton of character in the past and will come back.

Reagan what do you think of Portland ? The has lost for the season arguably two of their key players for the season ( Ponnich and Gabreil) yet stomped Tri-cities last night. Do you think they are still the team to beat ?

Regan Bartel said...

I am not sure Astles was on the ice at the time? Whether he was or wasn't doesn't matter. You have to stick up for your goaltender, especially if he is playing his heart out for you. As for the Hawks, they have depth. It hurts losing those two players no question, but if their is one team that can handle the hit, the Hawks can.

Glen Erickson said...

A couple pieces here, one written and one audio, that your readers might be interested in. They tie into my ranking of the Top 10 D-men (drafted) in the WHL.

Audio (scroll to "11:00 mark"):