Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Best effort of series translates into another loss

  • It was the Kelowna Rockets best effort of the series. Unfortunately it still wasn't good enough to beat the Portland Winterhawks. Ty Rattie and Sven Bartschi each had two goals and two assists as the Hawks moved within one game of eliminating the Rockets in the opening round of the playoffs. Game four is Thursday night at Prospera Place. 
  • The Hawks top line of Rattie, Bartschi and Marcel Noebels combined for 11 points in the win. Rattie now has six goals in the series, as many goals as the Rockets have in the first three games. While the Hawks leading scorer is having a heck of a series, Kelowna's leading point producers, Shane McColgan, has just two assists.
  • While the final score reads 6-3, this was essentially a one goal game. The Rockets pulled goaltender Adam Brown late in the game when the score was 4-3. The Hawks would score two empty net goals to make it a three goal differential.
  • Speaking of Brown, he was extremely sharp in the first period when the Hawks really poured on the pressure. Brown was able to get the home team out of the period down by just a goal. It was another 20 shot period, something that has been common place in the first three games. The Hawks don't start slowly. That is a good sign of a championship team.
  • Brett Bulmer sat out game three after being suspended by the WHL after receiving a five minute major for kneeing in game two. With the Rockets determined effort last night, the addition of Bulmer may have been enough to help the Rockets earn their first win of the series. The player Bulmer hit, William Wrenn, did play Tuesday night and didn't appear to be laboring in anyway.
  • The Hawks played the game without 20 year-old Oliver Gabriel, but a familiar face entered the scene. Gabriel sat out game three with a suspension but 17 year-old Brendan Leipsic returned after missing the first two games with an undisclosed injury. Leipsic was very good and his breakaway pass to Brad Ross in the second period was just one example how good this 1994 born player is.
  • I was really impressed with the play of 21 year-old Brett Lyon. This was Lyon's best effort in a Rockets uniform. The Grand Forks BC resident was solid on the fore check and played a determined game. Lyon was rewarded by coach Huska, who played him down the stretch when the Hawks were clinging to a 4-3 lead.
  • Hawks goaltender Mac Carruth struggled last night, especially with long shots. The 19 year-old had trouble tracking the puck. Carruth was beaten on all three goals from long range. Give the Rockets forwards credit though for creating traffic in front of him. Carruth was even beaten by defenceman MacKenzie Johnston on a long range blast, but the goal was called off on an off side.
  • I thought this was the most composed the Rockets defensive core has looked in the series. Sure, the puck was still turned over and their youth couldn't be hidden, but it was a much better effort by the group. The worst the d-core looked was obviously on the Hawks 3rd goal, when as a unit, they couldn't clear the zone no matter how hard they tried. Colton Sissons ended up getting his pocket picked by Noebels, who passed it to Bartschi, who faked a shot and sent it to Rattie for his second of the game.
  • Overall, this was a fun game to call. The flow was extremely good in the second period as the Rockets elected to exchange scoring chances. The d-core was pro-active in joining the attack, which set them up for disaster if the puck was turned over, but in retrospect, it was the right move as it caused the Hawks more headaches in the defensive zone.
  • Game four is Thursday. It should be fun. The Rockets have not been swept in a series since 1994, when as the Tacoma Rockets, the team was swept in 4 games by the Hawks.


jaz301 said...

That may have been the rockets best game of the series, but it still was not perfect. Lets just hope they can win game 4 on Thursday and avoid the sweep. Then win games 5, 6, and 7. Okay that last part is not likely, just wishful thinking.

PNWHockey said...

Love the fair and honest reporting, a credit to you and the team. Thanks Regan! Best regards, John Fisher, PWHBC

caley said...

Was it just me or was that waived-off goal one extremely late offside call?