Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wearing a Hawks jersey in the broadcast booth

  • It was without a doubt Jordon Cooke's best performance in three short seasons in a Kelowna Rockets uniform. The 19 year-old goaltender made 43 saves, was named the games first star, in a 4-3 win Saturday night over the Portland Winterhawks. Cooke made several sensational saves including a clutch stop against Winterhawks forward Brendan Leipsic with just over a minute left in regulation time when the score was tied at 3. That save allowed Ryan Olsen to set up line mate Zach Franko for the game winning goal with 59 seconds left on the clock. Cooke was named the first star and was the main reason why his team snapped a nine game regular season losing streak in Portland.
  • Cooke has been named the hardest working Rockets on all four of our broadcasts this season. He has been a bright spot on a team that is still finding its footing.
  • The Rockets have now played in four consecutive one goal games. These close games are tough on the ticker and we still have 68 left to be played.
  • Rookie Riley Stadel celebrated in style Saturday night with his first career WHL goal. The 16 year-old picked up a rebound on a Myles Bell shot that hit the post and made no mistake as he ripped it into the wide open net. Stadel was jumping for joy on the ice and the smile on his face was clearly visible from the broadcast booth. I like the excitement and passion he shows towards the game.
  • We witnessed some good chemistry on the weekend between Colton Sissons, Myles Bell and Dylan McKinley. Those three racked up a combined seven points in Saturdays one goal win. Bell spent the weekend as a forward but don't expect him to play up there on a regular basis. The loss of J.T Barnett is one of the reasons why the coaches believe Bell can add a little extra flare at the forward position.
  • Discipline is a concern for the Rockets heading into Wednesday's game against Vancouver. This team is taking too many penalties for my liking and it needs to stop quickly. Taking a hooking or tripping penalty when an opponent is in a good scoring position is one thing, but not controlling your stick or your emotions is putting yourself before the team.       
  • How much different will the Rockets look when Barnett and injured defenceman Mitchell Chapman return to the line up? Those are two 20 year-old's that would add a nice dimension at both ends of the ice. That's why an early stumble out of the gate doesn't concern me as much as it may others.  
  • It was great being back in Portland. I've stated how I love the city and the good folks with the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club always put a smile on my face. No question they are excited to be hosting a fan bus when the Winterhawks visit Kelowna February 8th and 9th.  
  • I made a bet last season with Mike Thurston (picture on right) of the Booster Club that the Kamloops Blazers would beat his Winterhawks in the Western Conference final. As we all know, the Winterhawks eliminated Kamlooops in seven games. So, I had to man up Saturday night as Thurston presented me with the Portland Buckaroos jersey, which I wore reluctantly for the entire first period.  I received many odd looks, including one from Rockets forward Filip Vasko, who was wondering why I was wearing a Winterhawks jersey. The funny part about wearing it was the Rockets had a 2-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes. Who would have thought it brought good luck to the visiting team?
  • Ty Rattie was a Kelowna Rockets killer last season. He had 10 goals in an opening round playoff series. In the first two games of the seasonal series he was pretty much a non factor. It seemed strange not to see Rattie dominating play and being a threat to score every time he had the puck. You have to ask the question on how much he indeed misses line mate Sven Bartschi and how much of a factor Barschi was to Rattie's success last season? No question he was a factor, but is Rattie half the player he was last season without the now 20 year-old? To me, Rattie's slow start, in part, is a testament to how good Barschi was last season.
  • I sure like Winterhawks forward Brendan Leipsic. Always have. He was great Saturday night and dominated play pretty much when ever he had the puck. Leipsic won't get the headlines that Rattie, Seth Jones and overage Troy Rutkowski receive, but the 6th round pick of the Winterhawks in the 2009 draft impresses me with his speed and play making ability.     
  • I finally had a chance to meet Colton Sissons mom and dad.  Doug and Debbie Sissons took in Saturday's game in Portland and were chatting with their son after the game when I ran into them coming off the elevator. Debbie was as charming in person as she was when I first spoke with her as my first guest on my 'Pride of a Hockey Parent' series. We are airing the feature during the second intermission on Rockets road radio broadcasts this season.


fax said...

Regan - Two quick things from this Portland fan's perspective

1) Cooke was very very good in both games - he made some real "five star" saves on Saturday

2) Ty Rattie is definitely missing playing with Sven B - Those two basically played together for two full seasons - Sven B (IMHO) might have been the best player in junior hockey last year

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