- It was exactly how the Kelowna Rockets needed to play in game two of four straight in the Central Division. Last night in Red Deer, the Rockets started out slow but appeared to get better as the game wore on. Despite giving up the opening goal, which appeared to hit a player before going past starter Jackson Whistle, the Rockets took over the game in the second period and ended up scoring three unanswered goals in the 3-1 win.
- Colton Sissons scored the game winning goal, but like all good captain, led the way with his fantastic work ethic. Sissons scored twice in the second period, including a beauty where he picked off an ill advised pass by Rebels d-man Matt Dumba, skated in on the breakaway, and with Dumba harassing him from behind, roofed the puck, cross bar and in to give the Rockets a 2-1 lead. What made the play so impressive was the fact Sissons was protecting the puck from Dumba who was trying to catch him from behind.
- The Rebels are a team that struggle scoring goals. A good example was leading scorer Charles Inglis with a grade 'A' chance alone in front of Rockets goaltender Jackson Whistle in the second period. The 20 year-old missed the net by shooting the puck high and wide.
- Whistle seemed to fight the puck early in the game, but got better, like his team did as the game went along. The 17 year-old showed a quick glove hand and uses his big body to make saves look routine.
- Ryan Olsen returned to the line up Friday and clearly had fresh legs. Olsen was particularly good on the fore check and scored his team leading 4th power play goal of the season. What I liked about Olsen was his ability to get under the skin of the Rebels by hitting everything in sight. The Rebels took a penalty when Olsen was roughed up while going to the bench. Olsen had missed the last three game with a suspension.
- Myles Bell picked up a quiet two assists, increasing his team leading point total to 23. It wasn't the best night for Bell and line mate Dylan McKinlay, but good enough to earn the teams 7th win of the season. I thought Zach Franko was unusually quiet, but again, good enough to help his team earn their 4th road win of the season.
- MacKenzie Johnston really stood out on d. I really like his play. Solid and simple.
- Only six players have played in all 14 games this season. I like that. Why? While some players have been hampered by injuries, the coaching staff has been able to make healthy scratches of players that have under preformed. Last season that message couldn't be sent by the coaches because the roster was too small and the team sustained so many injuries. Every health body, regardless of performance, had to play.
- It would have been nice to see former Rockets forward Austin Ferguson in the Rebels line up against his old team. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Ferguson has been a healthy scratch more times than not and you wonder what his future holds in the WHL?
- The Centrium in Red Deer is undergoing some renovations with new luxury boxes and seats being added on the West end. The new seating will increase the capacity of the arena to around 7 thousand.
- Up next, a date with the Oil Kings in Edmonton. It is a tough place to play, yet the Rockets players love to skate on pro ice. It is interesting to note, the Rockets were one of only five teams to beat the Oil Kings at Rexall Place last season. AM 1150 has the game, starting with the pre-game show at 5:30 this afternoon. Join me on the radio won't you?
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Sissons leads Rockets with terrific effort
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