Sunday, January 27, 2013

Four lines of fury

  • The Prince Albert Raiders likely woke up this morning still wondering which was considered the Kelowna Rockets number one line. I don't blame them. The first unit was as good as the fourth Saturday night in a dominating 6-2 win at Prospera Place. The Rockets were relentless in playing a pressure game that had the Raiders chasing the puck all night long. You knew it would be a rough night for the visitors when Tyrell Goulbourne, celebrating his 19th birthday, set up Cody Fowlie for the opening goal less than four minutes into the game. From there, it was all down hill for the visitors.
  • I was honestly shocked at how badly the Raiders were outplayed. This game wasn't even close. The Rockets surely were the more fatigued team after arriving back in Kelowna at 5 am after an emotional 4-3 overtime win against the T-Birds the night before. The Raiders looked flat and the Rockets looked every bit the part of a team that is knocking on the door for first place in the overall standings.  
  • Tyson Baillie continues to impress. A three point night against the Raiders and the overtime hero Friday night in Seattle. The 17 year-old could arguably be considered the best third round pick the team has had since Seth Leonard was chosen in the 1993 WHL Bantam Draft. Baillie has 17 goals, seven more than in his rookie season. 
  • Madison Bowey and Mitch Wheaton are getting a lot of attention in their draft year, but Jesse Lees is showing NHL scouts he has some game. Lees now has 8 goals, 4 of them in his last five games. The 17 year-old's +39 rating isn't to bad either.
  • Dylen McKinlay is turning into a force. The 20 year-old's worth ethic has turned up a notch and his battle level has taken huge strides over the past few games. It is fair to say he has shown in the second half that he can throw the body with the best of them. His 48 points don't hurt either. What a pick up. 
  • Ryan Olsen hit the 25 goal plateau. Eleven of those 25 have been on the power play. The 18 year-old is making a statement that he would have looked awfully good in a Saskatoon Blades uniform this season. The Blades loss is the Rockets gain.
  • Colton Heffley sure looked good on defence last night. The 18 year-old forward didn't look out of place. Heffley makes smart plays, is as strong as an ox and can hit. Just ask Raiders forward Carson Perreaux after he was ran over by Heffley at centre ice. 
  • I was really impressed with the play of Raiders goaltender Andy Desautels. Desautels was the only reason this game didn't go into double digits. He gave up six, but received little help from the guys in front of him.
  • I counted six goal posts hit by the Rockets.    
  • The Rockets have won 21 consecutive games on home ice and are now 22 and 2 at Prospera Place.
  • Overall the team has won 6 straight heading into Monday's game in Kamloops in a match up of the top two teams in the BC Division. The two teams are separated by 8 points in the standings with the Rockets holding a game in hand.
  • The Rockets have now won 37 games this season. All that is left is 22 games in the regular season. 
  • Photo by Marissa Baecker. 


g.k said...

Couldn't make it to the game last night but you mention Hefley was playing Defense last night, was this due to any injury or just a numbers issue?? This is one of the most entertaining Rocket teams to watch that I can remember, pretty close to one of the best!!

Unknown said...

Re: your comment that Tyson Baillie could arguably be considered the best 3rd round pick the team has had since Seth Leonard was chosen in the 1993 WHL Bantam Draft.

Apart from the minor detail that Seth Leonard was drafted in 1998, I think that Randall Gelech (drafted in 1999) would get my vote as the best 3rd round pick; though as Baillie continues to improve...
Note that Cole Martin (chosen in the 3rd round in 2009) is not too bad either :-)