Kyle Beach Interview

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rockets game notes vs. Americans

Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets face the Tri City Americans for the third time this season. The Rockets are 1-1-0-0 after beating the Americans 4-3 back on October 5th before suffering a 5-2 loss in Tri City two nights later. The two teams close out the seasonal series December 29th at the Toyota Center. The Rockets enter tonight’s game having won four of their last five games with the only blemish being a 4-0 loss last Friday to the Kootenay Ice. In the big picture the Rockets have points in six of their last seven games (4-1-1-1). This is the fourth game of 7 straight on home ice. The Victoria Royals make a return visit this Friday before Prince George comes to town Saturday. The Lethbridge Hurricanes are at Prospera Place one week from tonight before the Rockets play 13 of the next 16 games on the road.

Brown’s Record Breaker: Twenty year-old Adam Brown set a new Kelowna/Tacoma franchise record Saturday night for games played by a goalie. Brown played in his 168th career game, setting the franchise record held by Kevin Swanson (1998-2001). Brown set a new franchise record in Prince George earlier this month for minutes played by a Rockets goalie. Brown now has played 9,510 minutes, 201 minutes more than Swanson (9309). Brown already is the franchise leader in wins with 94.

Who’s Hot: Brett Bulmer has fifteen points in ten games (6+9=15) and registered his first career hat trick Saturday against Victoria…Shane McColgan has seven assists in his last five games but has not scored a goal in seven games. Last season the Rockets leading scorer went without a goal for 10 games (twice). Carter Rigby has three goals in his last five games…Adam Brown has started in goal in twenty of the first twenty-five games…Colton Sissons has six goals in his last eight games and is four shy of the 17 he scored in 63 games last season. Zach Franko has four points (1+3=4) in his last five games.

This and That: Brett Bulmer was named to the training camp roster by Hockey Canada for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Champions. Bulmer will attend training camp in early December. Ryan Huska is an assistant coach on Team Canada while Jeff Thorburn is an athletic therapist….The Rockets have sent 11 players to represent Canada at the WJHC…The Rockets 6-5 win over Victoria Saturday night marked the first time this season in eight games where they surrendered five goals and won. The Rockets are 1-6-0-1 when giving up five or more goals…The Rockets have given up five or more goals in eight games this season. Last season they gave up five or more goals in ten games…NHL Central Scouting has rated captain Colton Sissons as the 6th top skater available from the WHL for the 2012 draft….Jesse Lees and Tyson Baillie have been named to Team Pacific for the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge next month in Windsor, Ontario…Madison Bowey has been named to the roster for Team West for the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge…The Rockets have been involved in twelve-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 6-3-1-2 in those twelve games… The Rockets have been out-shot in nine of their last thirteen games….The Rockets are playing their 1466th regular season game tonight and will hit the 15 hundred mark when they host Red Deer on February 18th…Ryan Huska has 168 wins behind the Rockets bench…The Rockets have scored a power play goal in thirteen of their last seventeen games….Mitchell Chapman has one more point (7) than the six he collected all of last season…Damon Severson has two more points (19) than the 17 he registered in his rookie campaign….The Rockets have beaten just two American based teams this year (Everett 5-4 SOW), (Tri City 4-3 W).

Milestone Makers:

Shane McColgan has 165 career points in 166 career games.

Kevin Smith played in his 250th career WHL game last Wednesday against Prince George.

Mitchell Chapman played in his 125th WHL game November 5th.

Brett Bulmer hit the 100 point mark for his career last Wednesday. Bulmer now has 104 career points.

Man Games Lost to Injury:

Carter Rigby: 7 games missed Madison Bowey: 9 games missed

Jason Siebert: 25 games missed Max Adolph: 25 games missed

Kevin Smith: 12 games missed Jessey Astles: 9 games missed

Tyrell Goulbourne: 3 games missed Jesse Lees: 15 games missed

Spencer Main: 13 games missed Filip Vasko – 1 game served for suspension

Myles Bell – 4 games missed Cody Chikie: 1 game missed

Total: 122 man games lost

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rockets' that have played at the World Juniors

2012: Brett Bulmer?
2011: Tyson Barrie

2010: Brandon McMillan
2009: Jamie Benn and Tyler Myers
2008: Luke Schenn
2007: No one
2006: Blake Comeau

2005: Shea Weber

2004: Josh Gorges

2003: No one
2002: Chuck Kobasew
2001: No one

2000: No one
1999: No one

1998: Brett McLean

1997: No one

1996: Robb Gordon

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bulmer; step closer to wearing Canadian colours

Kelowna Rockets forward Brett Bulmer was named Monday to the training camp roster for the Canadian World Junior team.
The 19 year-old was almost a guarantee to receive the invite after returning from the NHL's Minnesota Wild.
You don't pass up inviting Bulmer to camp considering he spent nine games in the NHL. You just can't.
While impressive at the elite level, Bulmer's return to junior hasn't been all roses. Sure he's picked up 15 points (6+9=15) in ten games, but seven of those points came in just two games.
Since his return to Kelowna, Bulmer has been plagued by inconsistent play and hasn't been the dominant player many thought he would be in his final season of junior.
But in saying that, Bulmer is an affective player if he is allowed to play a secondary role and not the go-to-guy that he is required to be in Kelowna.
He can be an affective agitator with the ability to score.
That's when he is at his best.
If Team Canada envision him playing that role, there is no question he is worthy of wearing Canadian colours at
Christmas.
Congratulatons Brett!

Kelowna Rockets that have played for Team Canada: Tyson Barrie, Brandon McMillan, Tyler Myers, Jamie Benn, Blake Comeau, Josh Gorges, Chuck Kobasew, Brett McLean, Robb Gordon Luke Schenn and Shea Weber.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fiesty forward does whatever it takes to win

(Photo by Marissa Baecker)
  • Energy. Determination. Doing whatever it takes to win. Second year forward Tyrell Goulbourne didn't find his name on the score-sheet Saturday night in a 6-5 win over the visiting Victoria Royals, but his two fighting majors were instrumental in the one goal victory. Goulbourne set the tone with an early decision over 6'5, 229 pound Royals defenceman Keegan Kanzig and then regained momentum with a second period fight with good friend Brandon McGee after his team surrendered three goals in a span of 2:59. With those two tilts under his belt, Goulbourne was then rewarded with crucial ice time with his team clinging to a one goal lead late in the game as the Royals looked for the tying goal. On this night Brett Bulmer receives the games first star for his three goal effort, but Goulbourne deserves a lot of credit for playing his role to perfection.
  • Goulbourne has seven fighting majors this season after registering five all of last year. The 17 year-old leads the Rockets in the fighting department with two more than teammate Jessey Astles.
  • Getting back to Bulmer....the 19 year-old registered his first career hat trick Saturday night. Bulmer had six, two goal games but never had a three goal effort. Bulmer looked far more interested in the offensive zone and was rewarded for his efforts. Every time he touched the puck he looked dangerous, but the question remains whether he can bring that effort consistently to the ice to earn a spot on Team Canada for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships.
  • This was a crazy game where both goaltenders struggled. I thought Royals veteran Keith Hamilton had a rough outing and Rockets 20 year-old Adam Brown followed suit. With the Rockets up 2-0, the Royals stormed back to take a 3-2 lead only to watch the home team scored back-to-back goals to regain the two goal lead. The two teams would exchange power play goals in the third before Bulmer's third of the night proved to be the game winner.
  • The Royals almost earned a point, when on the power play and the goaltender pulled for the extra attacker, they scored as the buzzer sounded to end the game. After video review the goal was disallowed and the Rockets escaped with a one goal win. It marked the first time in four attempts that the Rockets beat the Royals.
  • Rockets rookie Tanner Moar scored his first ever WHL goal. The only rookies that have failed to score are now Filip Vasko and Cole Martin.
  • Brown played in his 168th career game, setting a new Rockets franchise record for goaltenders, breaking the old mark set by Kevin Swanson.
  • I am really liking the progression of forward Colton Heffley. Involved in a fight with Royals d-man Zach Habscheid, the 17 year-old is also finding himself in better scoring positions.
  • While Royals rookie Keegan Kanzig was on the losing end of the Goulbourne fight, how tough will the 16 year-old be to play against as he matures? This is going to be one powerful player that NHL scouts can't ignore with that tremendous size.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One call proves costly

(Photo by Marissa Baecker)
  • 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.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Game notes vs. Ice

Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets face the Kootenay Ice for the one and only time this season. These two teams met once last year – in Cranbrook – on February 22nd with the Ice earning a 4-2 win. Jordon Cooke made 47 saves and was named the games second star. Geordie Wudrick and Kevin Smith scored in a losing cause. The Ice will make their first appearance in Kelowna since November 28/2009. The Ice scored twice in the third period in a 4-2 win. Shane McColgan and Tyler Halliday scored in a losing cause. These two teams have had several playoff battles over the years. In 2006, the Rockets beat the Ice is six games. The Rockets enter tonight’s game having won three straight and have points in five straight games (3-0-1-1). This is the second game of 7 straight on home ice. The Victoria Royals pay a visit tomorrow night before welcoming the Tri City Americans on Wednesday.

Brown’s Record Breaker: Twenty year-old Adam Brown will tie a Kelowna/Tacoma franchise record tonight for games played by a goalie. Brown will play in his 167th career game, tying the franchise record set by Kevin Swanson (1998-2001). Brown set a new franchise record last weekend in Prince George for minutes played by a Rockets goalie. Brown now has played 9,390 minutes, 81 minutes more than Swanson (9309). Brown already is the franchise leader in wins with 93.

Who’s Hot: Brett Bulmer has twelve points in eight games (3+9=12) yet has one goal in his last seven games. Bulmer is also riding a four game point streak (1+4=5)…Shane McColgan has points in 16 of his last 20 games and has been held off the score sheet just five times this season. McColgan has (6+14=20) over that period….Cody Chikie has three goals in his last six games….Adam Brown has started in goal in eighteen of the first twenty-three games…Colton Sissons has goals in four of his last six games. Sissons has five goals over that stretch.

Who’s Not: Damon Severson snapped a six game point drought with an assist Wednesday in a 7-3 win. Severson has gone eight games without a goal after scoring three times in October.

This and That: The Rockets and Ice rarely make a trade. These two teams hooked up in a deal September 22/2008 when the Ice sent 20 year-old goaltender Kris Lazaruk to the Rockets for a fourth round bantam pick in 2010. That pick was 16 year-old defenceman Spencer Wand….The Rockets last win against the Ice came back on October 5/08 in a 6-3 victory in Cranbrook. Cody Almond had two goals in the win....The Rockets last win at home against Kootenay came back on November 23/2007 when Kristofer Westblom made 30 saves in a 7-6 overtime win. Colin Long scored the winner :44 seconds into the extra session with Tyson Barrie and Kyle St. Denis adding assists….NHL Central Scouting has rated captain Colton Sissons as the 6th top skater available from the WHL for the 2012 draft….Jesse Lees and Tyson Baillie have been named to Team Pacific for the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge next month in Windsor, Ontario…Madison Bowey has been named to the roster for Team West for the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge…The Rockets have been involved in eleven-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 5-3-1-2 in those eleven games… The Rockets have been out-shot in nine of their last twelve games….The Rockets snapped an 8 game road losing streak last Friday in Prince George with a 3-2 win. The Rockets went 12 games between victories on the road during the 2006-2007 season before beating the Cougars 4-2….The Rockets are playing their 1464th regular season game tonight and will hit the 15 hundred mark when they host Red Deer on February 18th…Ryan Huska has 167 wins behind the Rockets bench…The Rockets have scored a power play goal in twelve of their last fifteen games….The seven goal outburst Wednesday night was the first time the Rockets have scored seven or more goals at home since a 7-3 win over the Vancouver Giants back on January 29/2011.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Don't let the lopsided score fool ya

(Photo courtesy of Marissa Baecker)
  • Often times the final score in a hockey game doesn't tell the true story on how it was played. Wednesday night's 7-3 win by the Kelowna Rockets over the Prince George Cougars would be a good example of that. Four-third period goals lifted the Rockets to their 9th win of the season after the two teams skated to a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. In fact, the Cougars tied the game with a buzzer beater at the 19:59 mark after defenceman Cody Carlson knocked a bouncing puck past goaltender Adam Brown. In my opinion, the home team was fortunate to be tied heading into the intermission after the Cougars appeared to be the better team through the first half of the second period thanks to their work ethic and physical play.
  • While Colton Sissons scored twice, the team captain played a quiet game through the first two periods. He was not alone. Several of the Rockets veteran players didn't exactly lead the charge in the first half of the game when it was in doubt. Role players like Tyrell Goulbourne, Jessey Astles and defensive defenceman Kevin Smith helped the home team earn a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Astles' goal came after line mate Brett Bulmer made a nice move, took a shot that Cougars goaltender Devon Fordyce got a piece of, before the rugged forward deposited the puck into the net for his second goal of the season. Outside of that one play, Bulmer too played a relatively quiet game.
  • Smith's goal was his first in 22 games.
  • The Rockets ended the night going 3 for 4 on the power play, with Sissons, Smith and Carter Rigby getting goals with the extra man. Smith celebrated his 250th career game with a two points effort after assisting on Cody Chikie's third period goal to make the score 6-3. I have no problem with Chikie's goal, outside of the fact it was scored when the game was already decided. Do you not look for your veteran players to score the timely goals when the game is on the line?
  • A solid game by defenceman Damon Severson. Severson was the most physical of the Rockets d-man with two significant hits at the Rockets blue line. Severson's best play of game came in the third period when the 17 year-old went coast-to-coast before ringing one off the post. Had he scored, it would have been the best goal of the season.
  • The biggest hit came in the second period from Cougars forward Linden Springer when he sent rookie d-man Madison Bowey into the Rockets bench.
  • I thought Adam Brown made some timely saves, especially off of Cougars forward Spencer Asuchak in the third period when the Rockets held a slim 4-3 lead. A stop with a right pad from in close resulted in Sissons scoring his second goal of the period on the power play a short time later.
  • The win was the Rockets third straight, matching a mark they set at the start of the season with victories over Everett, Vancouver and Tri City.
  • The seven goal out-burst was the Rockets highest goal total of the season. The Rockets beat Vancouver twice earlier this season by scores of 6-3.
  • All hands will have to be on deck Friday when the defending WHL champion Kootenay Ice come to town. No less than a 60 minute effort, with the top forwards making a major impact, will be needed to extend the Rockets winning streak to four games.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rockets game notes vs. Cougars

Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets are getting their fill of the Prince George Cougars in the month of November. The Rockets are meeting the Cougars for the third consecutive game after winning back-to-back games in Prince George last weekend. In fact, at this portion of the schedule the Rockets are playing the Cougars four times in their next 8 games. These two teams hook up again December 3rd at Prospera Place. Tonight the Rockets are opening a seven game home stand, their longest stay at home this season. Over the next two weeks they will host Prince George (twice), Kootenay, Victoria (twice), Tri City and Lethbridge. The Rockets enter tonight’s game having registered points in four straight games (2-0-1-1) and have won back-to-back games for only the third time this season.

Seasonal Series Breakdown vs. Cougars:

Scoring 1 2 3 Total

Rockets 5 1 3 9

Cougars 3 0 2 5

*The Rockets are 3 for 14 (21.4 %) on the power play in the three games against the Cougars while Prince George is 0 for 15 with the extra man. The Cougars have out-shot the Rockets in two of three games.

Who’s Hot: Brett Bulmer has ten points in seven games (3+7=10) yet has one goal in his last six games…Shane McColgan has points in 15 of his last 19 games and has been held off the score sheet just five times this season. McColgan has (6+13=19) over that period….Adam Brown has started in goal in seventeen of the first twenty-two games…Colton Sissons has goals in three of his last five games.…Who’s Not: Tyson Baillie snapped a 14 game goal scoring drought with his 4th of the season Saturday in a 4-2 win over Prince George….Damon Severson has gone six games without a point. In October Severson had 14 points (3+11) in 14 games.

This and That: NHL Central Scouting has rated captain Colton Sissons as the 6th top skater available from the WHL for the 2012 draft….Jesse Lees and Tyson Baillie have been named to Team Pacific for the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge next month in Windsor, Ontario…Madison Bowey has been named to the roster for Team West for the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge…The Rockets have been involved in eleven-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 5-3-1-2 in those eleven games… The Rockets have been out-shot in nine of their last eleven games….The Rockets snapped an 8 game road losing streak Friday night in Prince George with a 3-2 win. The Rockets went 12 games between victories on the road during the 2006-2007 season before beating the Cougars 4-2….Adam Brown is second – all-time - in games played by a Kelowna Rockets goaltender. Brown has 165 career appearances. The franchise leader is Kevin Swanson, who played in 167 games in 1998-2001…The Rockets are playing their 1463rd regular season game tonight and will hit the 15 hundred mark when they host Red Deer on February 18th…Ryan Huska has 166 wins behind the Rockets bench…The Rockets have scored a power play goal in eleven of their last fourteen games….The Rockets are 4-4-0-0 when scoring four or more goals. The Rockets have won games over Everett (5-4), Vancouver – twice (6-3), and Prince George (4-2)…

Milestone Makers:

Shane McColgan has 160 career points in 163 career games.

Spencer Main is playing in his 198th WHL game tonight.

Kevin Smith is playing in his 250th career WHL game tonight.

Mitchell Chapman played in his 125th WHL game November 5th.

Brett Bulmer is 1 point shy of 100 for his career.

Man Games Lost to Injury:

Carter Rigby: 7 games missed Madison Bowey: 9 games missed

Jason Siebert: 22 games missed Max Adolph: 22 games missed

Kevin Smith: 12 games missed Jessey Astles: 9 games missed

Tyrell Goulbourne: 3 games missed Jesse Lees: 12 games missed

Spencer Main: 10 games missed Filip Vasko – 1 game served for suspension

Myles Bell – 1 game missed

Total: 108 man games lost

Monday, November 21, 2011

Things that make me go hmm...

  • You can down play the Rockets success on the weekend or you can celebrate it. I for one will chose the latter. After losing eight straight games on the road after a season opening win in Everett, it was nice to enjoy a 'w' no matter who the opposing team was. It marked the first time this season the Rockets earned back-to-back road wins. The Cougars were prime for the picking with the worst record in the BC Division, but they didn't hand the Rockets two wins, the visitors had to work for them.
  • How much are the Rockets' impacted by the loss of Tyson Barrie? If you look solely at the power play statistics after 22 games, not that much. The Rockets scored 25 power play goals at this point last season with Barrie quarterbacking the power play. This season after 22 games, 23 power play goals have been scored. That surprised me. But after further analysis, Barrie missed seven of the first 22 games with a nagging groin injury which kept him from attending Colorado's training camp.
  • The Rockets are drawing fewer penalties this season. Last year the Rockets had 132 power play chances after 22 games. This season they have been granted 114 chances with the extra man. That's a difference of 18, or about one fewer power play per game.
  • Clearly the biggest impact with the loss of Barrie has been the ability for a defenceman to literally skate the puck out of his own end and down the length of the ice. MacKenzie Johnston doesn't do it nor does Mitchell Chapman. Both are defensive orientated. Damon Severson and Myles Bell attempt it occasionally, but with little success. Only rookie Cole Martin does it with any sort of success. That is the missing link with this team right now...a d-man that can rush the puck up ice. I am sure many teams have that same void.
  • My belief is the Rockets are gaining traction but there is far more to give from the forwards. While it is easy to look at the defensive core for the teams early struggles, my belief is the forward core is strong enough to take huge pressure off of them. In back-to-back games in Prince George on the weekend, the top four point producers, which three of them are forwards, were not huge difference makers. That has to change as the team opens a seven game home stand Wednesday night against guess who? Prince George.
  • The Rockets have scored the fourth fewest goals in the Western Conference. Averaging only 3.09 goals per game, only Seattle (2.75), Everett (2.5) and Prince George (2.17) score fewer goals per game. That also surprises me, or am I misguided on the quality of the forward core? Leave a comment below.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Road Warriors for once


It wasn't the top four point producers on the Kelowna Rockets roster that shone brightly Saturday night in a 4-2 road win in Prince George.
It was a defensive defenceman, a feisty forward, a fresh face and a struggling veteran that led the charge.
Mitchell Chapman, who does his best worth keeping the puck out of his own net, scored the first of four unanswered goals as the Rockets won back-to-back games for the first time in over a month.
Rookie Tyson Baillie, with his first goal in over a month, Tyrell Goulbourne and Zach Franko also scored while rookie Cole Martin chipped in with two assists. The win came on the heels of a 3-2 victory one night earlier to a Cougars team which has now dropped four straight.

Tyson Baillie won't drop his gloves often, nor does he have too, but he found a dance partner (Linden Springer) in the first period. While his first WHL fight won't go down as a tilt of epic proportions, the fact that he was willing to even venture in that direction tells me about the character of this first year player. The hockey god's must have liked what they saw, because in the third period he managed to find the back of the net to make it a 4-2 score.

Defenceman Cole Martin is really growing on me. His compete level is outstanding and I love when he rushes the puck. I wish he would do it more often. No questions he makes mistakes, but he and Mitchell Chapman have made some huge strides over the last couple of weeks.

A shout out to 20 year-old d-man Kevin Smith who had a huge hit on Cougars forward Austin Daae in the second period. We don't see it often and need to see it more, but Smith needs to make an impact in some way every game. Saturday night he did that courtesy of some physical play.

The Rockets penalty killing unit didn't surrender a goal in nine Cougar chances on the weekend. Sure the Cougars power play is the worst in the league, but the unit deserves credit for blocking numerous shots that came off the stick of Cougars defenceman Martin Maracin and Cody Carlson.

Speaking of Maracin, how good was he Saturday night? Unbelievable. At times dominant, the 19 year-old logged a truck load of ice time and created some scary chances when carrying the puck up ice. Saturday night he was probably the best player on the ice for both teams.

The Rockets are now 2-0-1-1 in their last four games and sit four points back of Victoria for third place in the BC Division. A seven game home stand awaits the Rockets as they host the Cougars Wednesday night at Prospera Place.