Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rockets end losing streak in Portland

  • I didn't expect that, did you? Sure, a Kelowna Rockets victory, but not by four goals. Shane McColgan scored three times and collected an assist on Zak Stebner's goal in a 5-1 win in game one of a best of seven Western Conference semi final series. The win snapped a six game losing streak in Portland dating back to the 2008 season. The Rockets remain perfect in the post season at 5 and 0 while the Hawks are now 4 and 1.
  • McColgan's second goal of the game was a beauty. After receiving a pass, the 17 year-old skated inside the Hawks blue line and hammered a slap shot high over Mac Carruth's blocker side to make it a 3-1 game. That goal came late in the second period when the fans at the Rose Garden were still yelling at the officials for what they interpreted was a missed high sticking call.
  • The non-call was actually the correct one. Rockets defenceman Zak Stebner hits Hawks forward Brendan Leipsic with his stick after following through on a clearing attempt. The WHL rule states that it is not a penalty, yet at the NHL level losing control of your stick no matter what the circumstance is indeed an infraction.
  • A sure sign that emotions were running high was when Rockets forward Mitchell Callahan was jousting with Hawks forward Riley Boychuk before the puck was even dropped. My belief is the Rockets won't be intimidated in this series even though the Hawks are statistically a bigger team.
  • I was a little surprised at the Hawks blunders in their own zone. The d-core gave up the puck on several occasional resulting in several quality chances. While the Hawks generated 46 shots towards Adam Brown, they also gave up 32 against.
  • The Rockets essentially had three breakaway chances with two of them coming from Evan Bloodoff. Bloodoff and McColgan each scored once on those clear paths towards the Hawks goal.
  • Nothing against Shane McColgan, but Adam Brown was the best player on the ice. The 19 year-old clearly outplayed Mac Carruth in the Hawks goal. Brown made timely saves while Carruth made untimely errors that cost his team dearly. I honestly can't remember one big stop Carruth made in game one.
  • Rockets forward Zach Franko left the game after he received a hit from Hawks forward Brad Ross. Ross came out of the penalty box and landed a hard hit on Franko. The 17 year-old went for stitches to his lip and never returned. Ross received a game misconduct for charging and will likely be suspended.
  • Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Johansen both ended the game with -3 ratings. It was an off night for the dynamic duo who have more good games than bad ones.
  • Game two is Sunday, again at the Rose Garden.


Daryl said...

...impressive to say the least... now can they forget about this one and play the underdog role again on Sunday.... good job boys....

Jeff said...

Props to the Rockets for being ready when the puck dropped and running the Hawks right out of the barn. However, anyone who's familiar with Portland would say that the Hawks had all the planets align in a very bad way. This is a team that won 50 games because of a depth of talent maybe unsurpassed in the WHL this season. I expect game 2 to be a very different story and then the pressure shifts to Kelowna and whether they can find a way to beat possibly the best road team in the Dub in Prospera Place. Nice job once again Rockets. Let's hope you didn't just awaken that Goliath without enough rocks to finish him off.

acco said...

McColgan must have been good. The game summary at the whl website shows the 3 stars as follows:
1. KEL - 18 Shane McColgan
2. KEL - 1 Adam Brown
3. KEL - 18 Shane McColgan

divad said...

I am really happy for the players. Hard work and discipline paid off on game one so now it is a question of repeating ..Brown what can i say? just stay in your bubble and keep that run going can't wait to see the boys in their barn next week. good luck on sunday.

jaz301 said...

I sure was surprised by the game. I was not expecting the rockets to come flying out like that. I thought Portland was going 2 get the 1st game. But hey we won. It will be interesting too see(well listen for me) on what the next game will bring. Will rockets continue to dominate or will the hawks come back. I don't know, but I think Hawks will play much harder.

bonghit1 said...

I remember 1 good save by carruth. (it was yet another breakaway) but thats about it!