Saturday, October 8, 2011

Perfect record erased

Adam Brown was solid. Unfortunately I can't say the same for the majority of his team-mates. The 20 year-old goaltender stood on his head and made quality saves look routine as the Kelowna Rockets fell 5-2 Friday night to the Tri City Americans. The loss was the Rockets first of the season after starting the schedule with three consecutive wins.

Again, a fairly decent start by the Rockets in this one. Cody Chikie opened the scoring with a power play goal before the Americans responded with one of their own after Shane McColgan was fingered to the penalty box for charging. The Rockets out-shot the Americans 14-13 in the opening frame.

I am not sure what happened in the first intermission, but the Americans came out flying in the second period and scored two quick ones to take a 3-1 lead. Using their speed and determination, the Americans built up a 4-1 lead before the second period was 8 minutes old. It appeared the rout was on until Rockets d-man Myles Bell's innocent shot from the blue line beat Am's goaltender Eric Comrie between the legs. That made it a 4-2 score heading into the third period. A solid push in the third period by the Rockets and we had ourselves a new game. Unfortunately, the Americans dominated the majority of the third before getting a Mitch Topping goal to put the game on ice. Brown again made some good stops to keep the score from getting out of hand.

When a 15 year-old forward is your best skater it is usually a bad thing. Tyson Baillie was involved and often looked agitated as he chopped his stick several times at American players. Baillie earned an assist in the loss giving him a point in every game he's played this season.

Is a loss a good thing? Any coach will say no, but an early wake up call can't hurt. I don't think a player, especially in junior, realizes how poorly they may be playing until you see a digit in the loss column. How bad can we be when we are undefeated? Now with a loss, it is proof that even a solid goaltending performance can't hide the warts you seem to be overlooking.

The game featured one fight with Jessey Astles squaring off with new comer Lukas Walter. Astles got the take down but Walter caught the Rockets forward with an upper cut that caused the 18 year-old's lip to bleed.

It was my first look at 16 year-old Americans goaltender Eric Comrie. Even though I would have preferred to have seen the Rockets test him, outside of the Bell goal, he looked pretty good. Comrie is still getting his feet wet, which means it will take some time before he blossoms into the goalie the Americans management envisions.

That Brendan Shinnimin is fun to watch. The Americans forward works his tail off at both ends of the ice. He's as responsible at one end as he is at the other. Makes you wonder why he isn't playing pro now? After the solid game, he was involved in an autograph session underneath the stands to the delight of awaiting fans.

Thanks to Doug Love for the solid pic of Adam Brown used on this blog posting.

1 comment:

Ex-Sandcrab said...

I followed the Shinnimin on his trip to the Coyotes via online articles and streamed games. He played in both of the rookie games that they had and earned an invite to main camp. In main camp he did not play in any of the three games they had while he was there but he was sent to the Portland Pirates for their AHL camp. The camp started on Monday and he was sent back to Tri City on Tuesday. My thoughts at that time were that it was likely a contract issue as that was almost the only reason they would not have played him in main camp and then flown him cross country to Portland and then let him go after only one day in camp. The other night on the AMS radio pre=game show Westy was talking to Hiller and Jim mentioned that it was failure to agree on terms with a contract that got him sent back which confirmed my logic.