Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rockets rally in the third

  • The third period for the Kelowna Rockets in their playoff series with the Prince George Cougars has been fantastic. For the Cougars, the final frame has been forgettable. The Rockets have out-scored the Cougars 7-0 in the final period following a come-from-behind 7-4 win Saturday night. In game two, the Rockets scored five unanswered goals, four of which came in the third period to take a 2-0 lead in the best of seven series. The rally came on the heels of a three goal third period in a 4-1 victory in game one.
  • The Cougars were likely the better team in game two, at least through 40 minutes, but sometimes the game of hockey isn't fair. The Rockets get credit for battling back in the third and sending the series to Prince George with the Cougars in a tough spot.
  • Let the Rockets remind themselves that they too were down two games to none in their opening round playoff series last season against Everett after back-to-back road losses. The Rockets would win two home games and the momentum suddenly switched. Game three Tuesday night in Prince George is equally as important for the Rockets as it is for the Cougars.
  • The game winning goal couldn't have come from a better guy. Seventeen year-old Jessey Astles fired a puck from the slot past Cougars goaltender Ty Rimmer to give the Rockets a 5-4 lead. It was Astles first goal in 20 games and his first career playoff goal.
  • Three of the Cougars four goals were scored from going hard to the net or simply sticking around during goal mouth scrambles. Jaraslav Vlach's second period goal was a great example of simply going to the net and having the puck go off his arm before it trickled past Rockets goaltender Adam Brown. The Cougars prettiest goal came when Sena Acolatse ripped home a one-timer on a feed from Nick Buonassisi. That shot would best explain why the 20 year-old is regarded as having the heaviest shot in the Western Conference.
  • Colton Sissons was named the games first star for his two point effort. Shane McColgan and Cody Chikie each had three points games as the Rockets received points from 11 different players.
  • Kevin Smith's goal in the third period to make it 6-4 was his first career playoff goal. It was also Smith's first goal in 14 games.
  • The Cougars played the game without leading goal scorer Brett Connolly. Connolly suffered what is believed to be a separated shoulder after a hit in game one. The Cougars are keeping quiet on the extent of the injury and do you blame them? Connolly had his arm in a sling which tells you the injury is serious.
  • I really liked the play of Cougars forward Alex Forsberg. Used sparingly, Forsberg showed some creativity in the offensive zone. The younger brother of Cougars defenceman Jesse Forsberg, Alex was the youngest player on the ice surface Saturday night but played well.
  • Mitchell Chapman sat out game two with an upper body injury. That allowed Gal Koren to make his WHL playoff debut.


jaz301 said...

For the first 40min I was thinking we were going to lose this game, but once again we come out flying in the third. I think when we are in PG we are going to have to play the full 60min or the results will not be the same. PG has been playing very good and keeping it a close game(well until the 3rd). But with the home crowd(what little crowd there is)they will feed off the energy.

Rockets seems to be a little off on their game at times. Wonder if it has to do with the loss of Evan? He is a key guy to the team.

Regan Bartel said...

Agree. The Rockets haven't played a complete game, yet find themselves up 2-0. Not ever game is going to be a work of art, but I anticipate a real good effort on the road.