Saturday, March 19, 2011

Road Warriors

  • Playing games on the road is often a scary experience. It can be intimidating, especially when the majority of the 14 thousand fans watching are against you. But this years edition of the Kelowna Rockets seem to thrive, not cower under those conditions. Geordie Wudrick scored twice while Zach Franko added his 21st goal of the season in the Rockets 3-1 road win Friday night over the Vancouver Giants. It was the Rockets seventh straight win on the road. The Rockets wrapped up their regular season road schedule with their 22nd win on opposition ice.
  • The game started off with a bang when 15 year-old Rockets rookie defenceman Madison Bowey knocked down fellow 15 year-old Anthony Ast with a solid hit at the blue line. Ast needed the help of a teammate and a member of the Giants medical staff to get off the ice. The Giants first round pick in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft did not return.
  • This was the first time the Rockets really dominated the Giants physically in their own building. The days of Giants power forward Lance Bouma running wild at Pacific Coliseum are gone. The Rockets were the aggressors and gave as much or more than they got.
  • Bowey was playing in only his second career WHL game but didn't look out of place. The big hit was followed by his first career point; an assist on Wudrick's second period goal. The Winnipeg resident didn't look out of place playing alongside 20 year-old Zak Stebner.
  • Colton Sissons returned to the lineup after missing five games with a knee injury. Sissons didn't miss a beat collecting two assists playing with Evan Bloodoff and Wudrick.
  • The overall energy/urgency in the Rockets game against the Giants was far superior than what we witnessed Wednesday against Seattle. The effort Friday looked like a team that has won over 40 games this season. Wednesday's effort looked like a team that was about to miss the playoffs.
  • The Rockets ended the road portion of the schedule with 22 wins. Only one other team in the Western Conference has more road victories. The Portland Winterhawks have 23.
  • What a great crowd Friday night. They had little to celebrate, other than a fan going away with a new vehicle during the 2nd intermission. When you can attract a crowd of 14 thousand plus when you are riding a seven game losing streak, it tells you that the Giants are a popular draw even if the Canucks are playing at home on the same night.
  • After losing the first two games of the seasonal series the Rockets have won the last five meetings against the Giants.
  • If the Prince George Cougars beat the visiting Kamloops Blazers Saturday night and Everett fails to earn two points against Chilliwack, the Rockets and Cougars will meet in an opening round playoff series next Friday at Prospera Place.


g.k said...

Great game Rockets!! Keep it going tonight, please!!! Hope TB's ankle injury isn't too serious!! Hey Regan couldn't we still surpass Tricity? I believe they have a home & home with the Chiefs, & that won't be easy. We win tonight they lose both, were ahead by one point!! Correct?

Regan Bartel said...

You got it.

jaz301 said...

Lets hope Everett wins tonight. I think it would be a lot more entertaining series then against PG. Plus I have heard that Everett has quite the crowd. Not the biggest, but the loudest.

Another win for us last night meant another loss for the Giants. 8 in a row now. But at least the fans are still showing up. 14,000 is a great crowd for an WHL game. Some NHL teams don't even get that much.

One more game then its playoff time. Really looking forward to them. I think we are going to make a pretty good run in the playoffs.

g.k said...

I disagree with jaz- I think playing the Cougars will be alot more entertaining, the Tips play quite a defensive style of hockey which ='s Boring!! We haven't played the Cougars in the postseason for a long time so it would be great to get that rivalry re-kindled!! JMO !!!

jaz301 said...

g.k you may be right. Playing the cougars(which we are officially now) may be more entertaining. Plus it is a division rivalry which are always good. If we played Everett then we would have to listen to the cow bell's.