- Calgary Hitmen fans won't care, but the 85 hundred patrons that watched their home town team crush the Kelowna Rockets Sunday afternoon saw little of how good the visiting team can really play. They may have seen a glimpse in the first period when the Rockets out-shot the Hitmen 13-6, but the wheels quickly fell off the wagon in the second period after surrendering a shorthanded goal on a five on three. Had the Rockets scored the game would have been tied at one. Instead Cody Sylvester beat Jackson Whistle between the legs and the Hitmen enjoyed a 2-0 lead.
- Whistle received the start after number one goaltender Jordon Cooke couldn't play because of a lower body injury. That forced the Rockets to dress 15 year-old Jake Morrissey, a Rockets 5th round bantam pick this summer, as Whistle's back up. The Calgary resident would be pressed into action after Whistle was injured in the second period after receiving a shot to the knee where their was no padding. After grimacing in pain for a good portion of the second period and essentially playing on one leg, Whistle was yanked and Morrissey played the third period. It marked the first time ever in Rockets franchise history that a 15 year-old goaltender saw action in a WHL game. Morrissey, who was put into a tough spot, surrendered three goals in his debut.
- Despite being down 4-0, the Rockets battled back with a goal from Jesse Lees. Moments later, a turnover in the Hitmen's zone resulted in Zach Franko and Myles Bell going in on Hitmen goaltender Chris Driedger on a breakaway. With no Hitmen defenceman to be found, the two skated in but unfortunately over passed the puck and didn't even get a shot on goal. Yep, it was one of those games.
- The game had a physical element to it. Henrik Nyberg left the game after a huge first period hit and Hitmen forward Chase Clayton had to leave the game after being run over by Tyrell Goulbourne.
- Goulbourne had a spirited fight with Brendan Hurley in the second period, which turned out to be the only bright spot for the Rockets who generated just one shot on goal in the frame.
- The loss in Calgary won't diminish a strong Central Division road trip. The Rockets won four of five games played over six short days which included stops in Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer in Calgary. Routinely arriving at the hotel at 3 o'clock in the morning finally catches up to you and that was the case Sunday.
- The Rockets are now 23-10-1-1, which is 13 games above the .500 mark at the Christmas break.
- The Rockets out-scored the opposition 19-11 in the five games. Impressive considering they played without veterans Colton Sissons, MacKenzie Johnston and Mitchell Chapman.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Out of gas in final game of terrific road trip
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