Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Unlikely source scores winner

  • "The last time I scored two goals in a season it was pee-wee". Those were the words of defenceman Cole Martin after helping his team earn its 20th win of the season. Martin scored about six minutes into the third period to break a 1-1 tie, helping the Rockets to a 3-1 win last night over the Kootenay Ice. Martin now has two goals this season, a career high after scoring just once as a rookie. Martin now has three career Western Hockey League regular season goals. All three have been game winners. 
  • Tyson Baillie's game has come alive at just the right time. Playing on a line with 20 year-old's Dylen McKinlay and Cody Fowlie, Baillie scored twice in last night's win and now has four goals in his last two games.
  • It was a slow start for the Rockets last night. Generating just four shots in the opening frame pretty much tells you the story. The Rockets had a good first shift and spent some significant time in Kootenay's zone but came away empty handed. Jordon Cooke had to make a few solid stops to keep his team close before they exploded with three unanswered goals in the third. 
  • Cooke's best save came when his team was leading 2-1. Cooke robbed Ice forward Erik Benoit of a sure goal when he made a desperation save by diving across and getting his left arm on the puck and deflecting it wide. Cooke was on his 'A' game last night and it was his best showing this month. Cooke was named the games first star.
  • Rockets forward Dylen McKinlay found himself in a spirited scrap with Ice forward Austin Vetterl in the first period. The tilt erupted out of no where when I saw McKinlay throwing rights with Vetterl doing all the catching. McKinlay doesn't fight often - it was his first fighting major with the Rockets - but the 20 year-old can handle himself quite nicely thank you.   
  • Myles Bell had an assist, giving him 150 points in his WHL career.  The 19 year-old is one shy of 100 assists for his career heading into today's game in Lethbridge.
  • Best player/players for the Ice? I sure liked Benoit and Jaedon Descheneau was a close second. Both players can skate. Descheneau is a 1995 born player but receives a lot of ice time. 
  • Ryan McGill looks angry. The Kootenay Ice coach looked pissed off every time I looked at the Ice bench. I guess I would be too with 9 wins this season. We used to have some good talks when I was interviewing him as a young radio broadcaster with the Swift Current Broncos. They say we do get crankier as we get older though.
  • On the polar opposite of the spectrum, it was nice to run into Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth in the second period intermission. Great guy who always has time to talk. You've probably read a lot - thanks to me during an interview two seasons ago - about Chynoweth being sour over low attendance numbers at Kootenay home games. He had a point. The Ice haven't missed the playoffs in Cranbrook and the banners are a clear sign of success. I've read recently that fans in Kootenay are suggesting the Ice don't promote themselves anymore in the community like they used too. But can I say one thing about Chynoweth that others may not be aware of? Name me another WHL GM that is seen standing on the concourse during the intermission talking with their fans? Tuesday night, Chynoweth was mingling with the paying public, something many in his position wouldn't lower themselves into doing. Chynoweth is chatting with me for a few minutes and periodically saying hi to those that walked by him. If that isn't impressive public relations work folks, I don't know what is. 

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