Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beating the beast from the East

The Edmonton Oil Kings were gunning for their 40th win of the season Wednesday night, but the visiting Kelowna Rockets delayed the impending milestone. Brett Bulmer, Carter Rigby and Cody Chikie each scored twice in a surprising 6-4 road win. Or was it surprising? While the Rockets had 27 fewer points than the Oil Kings entering the game, clearly this 6th place team in the Western Conference plays its best on the road, specifically against elite competition. The Rockets have now earned points in eight straight road games.

The first period was dominated by the Oil Kings. The shot clock didn't lie as the Oil Kings out-shot the visitors 15-5. Rockets goaltender Jordon Cooke was solid in net while Tyrell Goulbourne stepped up with his most impressive tilt of the season by taking on Oil Kings tough guy Klarc Wilson. Goulbourne turned a lot of heads with that fight and specifically caught the attention of NHL scouts in attendance. Goulbourne's timing couldn't have been better. Wilson must have been shocked at the final outcome too. Goulbourne's fight and Cooke's strong play were two positives to take out of the period.

The Rockets scored three times in the second period to build up a 4-1 lead. It was aided by a five minute power play after Oil Kings Henrik Samuelsson received a kneeing major and game misconduct after sending Kelowna defenceman Damon Severson to the ice. Originally no penalty was called on the play until the two referee's conferred with the linesmen. Severson gingerly came off the ice but did return. The Rockets would score two power play goals before the Oil Kings made it a one goal game with two quick ones of their own late in the period.

How many teams can say their top two point producers were involved in a fight in the same game? Shane McColgan fought Henrik Samuelsson after his hit on Severson and then Brett Bulmer used a few upper cuts in a tilt against Oil Kings d-man Keegan Lowe in the third.

While we are talking about fighting, why is Brett Lyon and Jesse Astles sitting idly by? Isn't that their role? Does Tyrell Goulbourne have to do all the dirty work? Just asking.

Bulmer now has 26 goals, the same as injured captain Colton Sissons. Rigby now has 19 goals, which is third best on the team.

The loss was the Oil Kings 5th on home ice this season. Only Regina (twice), Tri City, Vancouver and now Kelowna have won on Rexall Place ice this season.

Tyson Baillie earned two assists and was named the games third star. That must have felt good for the Fort Saskatchewan resident to play a prominent role in his home province.


Ryan said...

Regan, I just watched the fights from last night and had to replay them over and over again because listening to the radio guys call the scraps may be the funniest thing I have ever heard. Talk about Homer Glasses. If you had just listened and not watched the fights you would think Bulmer and Goulburne got beat up bad.

Least we know know that Sameulsson plays just like his old man, dirty punk.

Gord McGarva said...

I think Coach Cuthbert brought up an excellent point last night about the difference between the home games and road games.

The younger players have a busy day during the week with attending school and catching up on classes missed from being on the road.

Coach Cuthbert did not use this as an excuse.

I believe it could be another piece of the puzzle that affects an athlete's performance.

Unknown said...

Well said, Lyon has been a non factor and Astles looks completely gunshy and has for almost three months. If there not physical why are they in the lineup?

g.k said...

Hey Regan I believe Astels was out with a concussion so that would be the reason he is not willing to drop the mitts or throw the big hits anymore but I don't know whats up with Lyons, he was brought in here specifically for his toughness & fighting ability but we've seen neither.