Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Marty's the man!

Cole Martin was playing it over in his head before it happened.
What if?
What if teammate Carter Rigby won the face-off and the puck eventually came back to him at the point. What would he do?
I will tell you what he did.
The rookie defenceman fired home the game winning goal through the pads of Regina Pats goaltender Adam Buekeaboom, leading the Kelowna Rockets to a 3-2 overtime win.
It was Martin's first career WHL goal. It came a night after Martin was too ill to play in a 5-3 loss in Brandon.

The game went into overtime after Brett Bulmer received a cross checking penalty late in the third period. With Bulmer in the box and the goaltender pulled for the extra attacker, the Pats scored to send the game into overtime.
While Bulmer could have been the goat, on this night, he avoided that tag. The 19 year-old played well after getting snubbed earlier in the day by Team Canada. Bulmer took his frustration out on the Pats by opening the scoring just 21 seconds into the game.

Rookie Tyson Baiilie set the Rockets up nicely with his 5th goal of the season late in the second period to give the visitors a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. Clearly the Rockets are a better team with the lead after 40 minutes than without it. They have failed to win a game this season after trailing after two periods.

The Rockets defensive core played a more conservative game and it paid off. They were willing as a group to get the puck into the forwards hands rather than carry it out themselves. The cautious approach resulted in a reduction in turnovers and fewer scoring chances for the Pats.

Jordon Cooke received a rare start and was solid. The Regina media thought he was so good that they awarded the 18 year-old with the games first star.

Shane McColgan's name doesn't show up on the score sheet, but he was 'Johnny Hustle' in the one goal win. If you compare him with Pats speedster Jordan Weal, McColgan's play was clearly better. Weal had a rough game after looking like a dynamo Sunday in a lopsided win over Kamloops.

While Cole Martin receives the game puck, assistant Dan Lambert officially is credited with his first career coaching victory. Lambert's record, with head coach Ryan Huska with Team Canada, is now 1-2-0-1.

It was nice to chat with Colton Jobke before the game. The former Kelowna Rockets defenceman was all smiles during our pre-game interview and was obviously excited to play against his former team. Several teammates gathered around him after the game for some handshakes and hugs.

The Rockets left for Saskatoon after the game and will prepare to face Prince Albert Friday in game five of the six game road trip.

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