- A Portland Winterhawks fan told me before game one that the weak link for the Western Conference regular season champions was in goal. I could have bought into that theory after game one following a 5-1 Rockets win, but I wasn't buying what he was selling after what I witnessed in game three. Portland's Mac Carruth made several solid stops in the Hawks 5-4 win Tuesday night over the Kelowna Rockets. Carruth allowed four goals in the win, but timely saves as the game wore on, including a nice glove hand save on Rockets forward Geordie Wudrick after a clean face-off win by Mitchell Callahan with time winding down, was a game saver.
- Both Carruth and Adam Brown's goals against average are going to take a beating in this series because both teams do so many good things in the attacking zone. It's those timely saves that make the difference between winning and losing.
- Nino Niederreiter scored twice in the win, but I thought Ryan Johansen was the real reason behind the 18 year-old's success. Johansen is dangerous with the puck and you don't know whether he is going to shoot or dish the puck off. Johansen had three assists and was full marks for the games first star.
- The Hawks opened the scoring for the first time in the series, but the Rockets did a good job of battling back. As the script has been written so far in this series, the Rockets were probably the better team through 20 minutes and had a 2-1 lead. But as we follow the script, the Hawks used a solid second period to take a 4-3 lead into the final frame. Hawks d-man Tyler Wotherspoon scored a late second period goal just 40 seconds after Rockets forward Brett Bulmer tied it at 3, allowing the Hawks to enter the intermission with a slim one goal lead. Wotherspoon scored just two goals during the regular season.
- The Hawks ended the night going 3 for 10 on the power play. Suspect calls, or in some cases non-calls were a constant throughout the game. The Rockets had seven power play chances of their own, yet it yielded just one goal. Seventeen power play chances combined made for a lot of whistles and at times choppy play. The second period in particular took forever.
- Shane McColgan was given a ten minute misconduct midway through the third period after he was sent to the penalty box for hooking. I have no problem with the hooking minor, but he banged his stick against the glass in the penalty box and was given an additional 10 minutes to cool his heels. Essentially the Rockets lost their top scorer for the final half of the third period. I have seen players hit the glass in the penalty box with their stick in frustration before and get no additional penalty. On this night, with less than stellar officiating from either Derek Zalaski or Colby Smith, maybe McColgan should have expected that a 10 minute misconduct would be handed his way if he even in the least bit stepped out of line?
- Outside of the loss, the most disappointing aspect of the one goal loss was the attendance. Just over 48 hundred fans watched game three. That left close to 12 hundred seats empty in a building that is sold out during the regular season. I hear people time and time again bitching for hockey tickets during the regular season but they can't get any. Where are they now?
- While it means little on the scoreboard, the Rockets out-shot the Hawks for the first time in the series. If you can generate close to 40 shots on goal against the Hawks, you are doing some darn good things in the offensive zone.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Carruth is no weak link on this night
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- What's next for Evan?
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- Audio rewind - Game 4
- Rockets are on the ropes
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- Carruth is no weak link on this night
- Rockets game notes vs. Hawks
- Let's dance!
- Ross suspended for three games
- Franko moves past McColgan in rankings
- It's now down to a best of five
- Phone line problems
- Franko received broken nose on Ross hit
- Touring around Portland
- Rockets end losing streak in Portland
- Let the games begin!
- Pic's from Portland
- Small article in Portland paper
- Off we go....
- Rockets game one notes vs. Hawks
- Hawks father caught between rock and hard place!
- In case you were wondering...
- Hawks coach on second round series
- Things that make me go hmm....
- Rockets get their slingshot ready!
- If the Rockets play Portland....
- Confusion on who the Rockets face in round 2
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