- There is strength in numbers. The Kelowna Rockets proved that Friday night in a 5-2 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Rockets out-scored, out chanced, out hit and fought their way to their 5th straight win and 22nd victory of the season. Myles Bell, Damon Severson and Zach Franko each had two point nights, helping their team improve to 3-0-0-0 on a Central Division road trip.
- The Rockets dominated the territorial play but the Tigers kept hanging around. Out-shot 14-4 in the first period, the Tigers only found themselves down 1-0 after 20 minutes. A Jacob Doty goal, his 3rd of the season, 55 seconds into the second period and it was a tied hockey game. It wasn't until Henrik Nyberg scored in the third period to give the Rockets a 4-2 lead that you felt the Tigers had no hope of snatching a win away despite being badly outplayed.
- The Rockets power play struck for two goals on seven chances. The prettiest goal came from Damon Severson, who was named the first star for a second straight game. Severson took a picture perfect pass from Zach Franko and roofed a shot high over the shoulder of Tigers goaltending Cam Lanigan.
- Colton Heffley doesn't fight often but that didn't deter him from swinging fists with Tigers tough guy Jacob Doty. Doty doesn't fight like he used too (Doty had 16 fighting majors last season) but he can still chuck them. Heffley showed character and determination by not backing down. The 18 year-old didn't win the fight, nor did he lose it. What he earned was even more respective from his teammates for the gutsy effort.
- Tigers forward Hunter Shinkaruk returned to the line up Friday after being cut Thursday from the Canadian World Junior team. Whether he was rattled from that experience or not, the potential first round pick in this June's draft was a non factor. You won't often say that about this dynamic player.
- The Rockets played arguably their most physical game of the season by laying out some huge hits. Myles Bell, Madison Bowey and Henrik Nyberg led the charge in beating the Tigers down physically.
- The miss call of the night came late in the third period when Tigers d-man Ty Stanton put Cole Martin in a headlock and did his best WWE impression by hammering Martin's head to the ice. I am not sure what referee Nathan Wieler was doing, but he made no call on what appeared to be an attempt to injure. Maybe Wieler was out of breath after blowing his whistle constantly over the first 40 minutes? Martin wasn't injured on the play, but that's not the point. The point is an obvious infraction like that has to be called regardless of the score or time of the game. If the Rockets pursued supplementary discipline, which they rarely do, Stanton would be suspended.
- Myles Bell hit the century mark with his 100th career assist.
- Tyson Baillie scored his 11th goal of the season, surpassing his previous career high of ten goals.
- Rockets 1st round pick Nick Merkley took the pre-game warm up. The 15 year-old was wearing #10. The Calgary resident will make his WHL debut Saturday in Red Deer.
- Don't look now but Cole Martin has a five game point steak. You'd be right. It's his longest point streak of his career.
- The Rockets are one point back of Spokane for third place in the Western Conference.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Rockets use scoring punch and physical force in road win
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