- The Portland Winterhawks are one of the best teams at capitalizing on the other teams mistakes. In game one of an opening round playoff series at Memorial Coliseum, the Kelowna Rockets made far too many that resulted in the puck ending up in the back of their net. The Hawks struck for three goals in the second and three more in the third in a 6-3 win. The Hawks have a 1-0 lead in the best of seven series with game two tonight on AM 1150 at 6:30.
- Despite the lopsided score, this was a tied game for 39 minutes and 59 seconds. A soft clearing attempt resulted in Hawks d-man Joe Morrow keeping the puck inside the zone, putting on a stick handling clinic, before snapping a shot past Adam Brown as time was ticking down. Bad clearing attempt - good play by Morrow - a shot that Brown would normally stop. Add it all up and the Hawks carried a one goal lead into the third period.
- For the Rockets to have a fighting chance in this series they need to capitalize on their chances. I can recall five golden opportunities to score, yet the Rockets came away with nothing. Myles Bell, Cody Chikie, Shane McColgan on a two-on-one with Damon Severson, Carter Rigby with an open net after Hawks goaltender Mac Carruth miss played the puck are just four examples. The fifth scoring chance had Rockets forward Colton Heffley picking up a rebound at the side of the Hawks net but failing to put it home. Even if you cut those scoring chances in half, and capitalize on them, that gave the Rockets a chance to win the game.
- Ty Rattie will get the glory with his three goals, but I sure liked Oliver Gabriel. A big power forward, Gabriel was tough to handle and did so many good things in the offensive zone. If a big player can possess skill , like Gabriel does, he catches my eye every time. Maybe it was just me, but I thought the 20 year-old caused a lot of trouble for the Rockets defensive core.
- Don't get me wrong, Sven Bartschi was good but the Rockets were guilty of not laying enough body on him for my liking. Rattie's second goal was a good example. Bartschi literally dangles/squeezes away from three defenders before getting a shot on goal that Brown stops. Rattie scores on the rebound. The Calgary Flames first round pick is quick, but for three players within two feet of him to not lay a finger on him is a killer. When the Rockets did make contact with Bartschi, he became frustrated. That needs to happen with more regularity in game two.
- Brett Bulmer did give up the puck on the Hawks third goal, but I still thought he played a strong game. Bulmer played physical, played with an edge and was an agitator. The line of McColgan, Bell and Sissons looked out of sync. That needs to change in game two. One line can't carry the mail.
- 55. That shot total for the Hawks may look bad on the stats page, but it didn't feel that way. The Hawks fire everything at the net so Brown was busy. But this wasn't an all out assault in the Rockets zone. In fact, the Hawks didn't register a shot on goal in the first 7 minutes of the second period.
- The game ended with a bang, when at the buzzer, Rockets goaltender Adam Brown picked up the puck in the corner and promptly put it in his glove and skated off the ice. The linesman wanted it, as did the Hawks, but Brown wouldn't give it up. It is still unclear if Brown ever gave it back.
- Way to many turnovers, especially within 5 feet of the blue line.
- Not physical enough for my liking. You don't need to crush people, but make contact.
- Missed chances in the offensive zone. No less than 5 golden chances.
- Brown wasn't bad, but could be better.
- Discipline. The Hawks had only four power play chances.
- Creating scoring chances; enough to win a game in my opinion.
- Ability to bounce back after being down by a goal. They did it twice.
- If the Rockets played a picture perfect game, I'd be concerned. Lots of areas for improvement.
- Great crowd at Memorial Coliseum. Solid atmosphere and a great night of hockey.