- A good hockey game Friday night at Prospera Place between the Kelowna Rockets and Kootenay Ice. Too bad referee Adam Griffiths had to ruin it. Giffiths called Kelowna Rockets captain Colton Sissons for diving (embellishment) in the second period, resulting in a power play goal, as the Ice walked away with a 4-0 win. Was the call the deciding factor? Not necessarily. Was it a huge part of the game? You bet it was. The Rockets were able to match the Ice when it came to five on five play but the Ice were better in the power play department, striking three times with the extra man. The Rockets conversely ended the night going 0 for 2.
- Griffiths should have a better feel for the game. It's a one goal game with the home team clearly leading on the shot clock. He fingers Colton Sissons to the box for embellishment when the 18 year-old just isn't the type of player that will go down unless he is legitimately hauled down by an opponent. Griffiths had four options on the play. 1) Call the trip. 2) Call both players to the box for a trip and a dive (embellishment). 3) Ignore the play, as Sissons appeared to stumble a split second after the Ice defenders stick gets caught in his skates. 4) Griffiths can call Sissons for the embellishment. Yep, he chooses the worst option, especially in a one goal game where two teams were putting on a pretty good show.
- Rant over. Down 2-0, the Rockets still had ample time to get back into the game but couldn't solve Ice goaltender Nathan Leiuwen. Leiuwen made 35 saves for the 8th shutout of his career. The veteran goaltender was solid, yet not spectacular. He used his big body to his advantage and made two key saves against Brett Bulmer and Jessey Astles.
- The Rockets' received some solid work from their forwards with the line of Shane McColgan, Brett Bulmer and Jessey Astles the most dangerous early in the game. That said, of the 35 shots on goal, it would be interesting to see how many were generated by that line alone. Astles would have likely led the charge with three. I will go out on a limb and suggest McColgan, the teams leading scorer, didn't get one shot on goal. I could be wrong, but I wouldn't be off by much.
- Don't let the 4-0 score fool you. The Rockets were not over matched, nor were they outplayed. It came down to the Ice being more opportunistic in the offensive zone and getting the most from their power play. Kootenay is a solid team without question. They deserve a tip of the hat for going through the BC Division undefeated, but had the officiating not gotten in the way, this would have been a terrific game.
- Rockets forward Cody Chikie was hurt in the third period of Friday's game after receiving a hit from Ice d-man Joey Leach at the Kootenay blue line. Chikie was crunched between the boards and Leach and appeared to be favoring his left shoulder/arm as he went off the ice. Leach also was hurt on the play but slowly got up and didn't miss a shift. Chikie never returned.
- The game was delayed for just over eight minutes in the third period when Rockets d-man Mitchell Chapman broke the glass behind the Ice net with a shot from the blue line. The shot shattered the glass and injured the goal judge, who was replaced once play resumed.
- Adam Brown didn't get the win but entered the franchise record books with his 167th career appearance. Brown is now tied with Kevin Swanson. Brown will set the new mark likely Saturday against the visiting Victoria Royals.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
One call proves costly
(Photo by Marissa Baecker)