Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winning 18 straight at home in dramatic fashion

  • My guess is neither coach was overly happy following the Kelowna Rockets 5-3 win over the Spokane Chiefs Wednesday night at Prospera Place. Rockets coach Ryan Huska wouldn’t have been happy with his team surrendering three-third period goals when his team had the game under control at 4-0 while Chiefs bench boss Don Nauchbaur wouldn’t have been pleased with his team’s effort in the opening 40 minutes. At the end of the night the Rockets earned their 18th consecutive home ice winning, tying a team record set by the 2002-2003 WHL championship team.
  • Winning 18 consecutive games at home is no small feat especially when you do it without your leading scorer. Myles Bell watched this one from the sidelines as he served game two of a two game suspension for a hit last Friday against the Tri City Americans. Bell wasn’t the only significant body out of the line up. Madison Bowey was at the CHL-NHL Top Prospects game while Mitch Wheaton and Henrik Nyberg were sidelined with injuries. The Rockets can set a new team record Saturday night when they host the Vancouver Giants.
  • As mentioned, the Rockets had a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes and played a solid game. The forwards were first on pucks and essentially dominated the play over the first two periods limiting Spokane to little zone time and 11 shots towards Jordon Cooke. As mentioned, the Chiefs found their game in the third period thanks to a series of scoring chances off the rush. Leading the charge was newly acquired Alessio Bertaggia who was dangerous in his Spokane debut. The European forward, acquired at the trade deadline from Brandon, had two grade ‘A’ scoring chances in the first period but was shut down by Cooke. In the third, Bertaggia made good on two scoring chances including a long bomb pass he received from Brenden Kichton at the Rockets blue line as he broke in on a breakaway.
  • Cooke was sharp despite the limited shot he faced through the opening two periods. While Bertaggia beat him twice, those key saves early was the reason why the Rockets were able to earn their 32nd win of the season and 19th on home ice in 21 games.
  • Cooke now has won 16 consecutive games, something that’s been lost on the teams excellent performance on home ice.
  • Colton Sissons continues his strong play after being hurt prior to the Christmas break. Sissons and Rourke Chartier each had a goal and an assist in the win. Chartier now has goals in three straight games.     
  • Dylen McKinlay earned an assist, giving him 44 points this season. That is a career high. The 20 year-old, who has exceeded many people’s expectations, had a career high 43 points with the Chilliwack Bruins back in 2009-2010.
  • Cody Fowlie returned to the line up after missing Saturday’s game in Vancouver. While the 20 year-old didn’t find his name on the score sheet, his contribution in so many facets of the game is missed when #18 isn’t in the line up.   
  • With the addition of Bertaggia, the Chiefs are as dangerous as the Victoria Royals are when the playoff start in just over two months. The Chiefs are not pretenders. They are a handful and can play with the best of them.


fan said...

how close is nyberg to coming vack thx

Regan Bartel said...

Should be ready Saturday.