Sunday, October 16, 2011

Unlikely source plays hero

  • Overtime often brings out the unlikeliest of hero's. Saturday night in Victoria was a great example. Eighteen year-old Jesse Zgraggen scored the game winning goal just 35 seconds into overtime, lifting the Victoria Royals to a 4-3 win over the Kelowna Rockets. It was Zgraggen's second career goal after scoring just once in 62 games as a member of the Chilliwack Bruins last season.
  • The loss was another tough pill to swallow considering the Rockets' had a 3-2 lead after Cody Chikie's third period wrap around goal. But, untimely penalties shortly thereafter allowed the Royals to get back in the game less than two minutes later.
  • Despite the loss, again some positives to take out of this one. The work ethic was solid, the breakdowns defensively were minimal and some good players were made in the offensive zone. I just wonder how much gas is in the tank at games end when you are killing off eight power play chances by the opposition? The Rockets were one player under the 18 player limit.
  • The Rockets don't often lose in overtime. In fact it was a rarity last season. The Rockets were 5 and 0 in overtime games last season including 4 and 0 on the road.
  • Marc Habscheid's scouting staff have found a pretty good player in Logan Nelson. The 18 year-old, who played most recently in the USHL, plays a lot and produces. While he will be overshadowed by Kevin Sundher and Robin Soudek this season, Nelson is making a statement in his rookie season.
  • Speaking of Sundher, what a skater. It was all Sundher on the Royals game tying goal and on the game winner in overtime. The 19 year-old can be such a difference maker, but often is invisible on the ice with some lethargic play. But when he's in the zone and he's playing at maximum speed, he is a threat to score every time he's on the ice.
  • Another great atmosphere inside the Memorial Arena. The fans in Victoria know how to have fun and have embraced the team. Sure its early, and the honeymoon will eventually end, but two exciting games will even have the casual fan coming back for more. It wasn't a full house Saturday night, but over 6 thousand strong is nothing to shake a stick at.
  • The painful part of the loss is the fact the Rockets had to get up this morning to catch at 9 am ferry. It means a full day of travel in an effort to arrives on the doorstep of the Interior Savings Centre in Kamloops for the third game in three night's and fourth game in five days. Such is life in the WHL!

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