- Was that the best hockey game we've seen at Prospera Place this season? Let's all answer in unison......YES! You could feel the tension and the playoff type of atmosphere and the two teams delivered. While the Portland Winterhawks earned a 5-3 win, if their was any doubt, the Kelowna Rockets can challenge the best team in the CHL for a WHL championship. A bounce here or there or a call or non call and the Rockets would have been celebrating their 41st win of the season. At the end of the night the Winterhawks win for the 44th time and snap the Rockets 23 game home ice winning streak.
- A real tough start for the Rockets when they gave up a goal that you simply can't allow against an elite team. Defenceman Jesse Lees quickly picks up the puck behind the net after goaltender Jordon Cooke sets it up and quickly fires it up the boards. The puck is picked off by Taylor Lier who immediately fires it at the net, getting it past a startled Cooke who is trying to re-position himself in goal. A tough one to give up 2:21 into the game considering the Rockets had early pressure but couldn't find the back of the net.
- The Winterhawks second goal is scored when it appeared to be offside. It looked like it on video replay and I asked Rockets head coach Ryan Huska to confirm if the play was indeed offside. The coach agreed that the play should have been whistled down. But those non-calls occur as the play happens so quickly. Also, the linesmen in this league are traditionally a little wet behind the ears so its hard to come down on a close call. This was a close call, not a missed call where the player was miles off side. The linesman who missed it gets a pass from me. Just don't let it happen again! :) The referee's in this league won't get a pass from me.
- The Rockets shouldn't be hanging their heads after this one. They had ample chances to score and struggled early even strength and on the power play. You could tell the Rockets were holding their sticks tight with so much on the line. The pressure was on the home team. They wanted to preserve the winning streak and show they are worthy of elite status. Those early nerves were a significant reason why they were down 4-0 after 40 minutes.
- I will give props to goaltender Mac Carruth. The 20 year-old was solid and looked extremely calm in the saves he made. Carruth gets a bad wrap, but his numbers speak for themselves. And if fans think the Winterhawks don't give up quality scoring chances, think again. The Rockets had numerous chances in the first 40 minutes, but again couldn't score.
- In my opinion the Rockets were the better team in the first period while Portland took control in the second. The third looked like a even match from where I was sitting. The only thing that changed was the Rockets anxiety level. It lowered and they capitalized on their chances.
- The fight. In the second period, Rockets forward Tyrell Goulbourne drops the gloves with Hawks designated tough guy Joe Mahon. It is all Goubourne, who gives up 5 inches and 15 pounds in the tilt. This one wasn't even close. It got the entire building fired up and the Rockets had a good push after, but again finding the back of the net for Goulbourne's teammates appeared futile.
- Myles Bell needs to shoot the puck. It is his best attribute. I could count on one hand the number of shots he took on Carruth. In fact, I'd argue he had just one and that came in the third period. The Rockets leading scorer has to play a part on the score sheet in the big games. With no points and a -3 rating, you won't win games without your elite guys stepping up.
- I really like Brendan Leipsic. Always have, always will. So crafty with such great speed. Everyone is talking up Seth Jones, who is good in his own right, but Leipsic is the man. Will he ever play in the NHL? He's so darn small, but his heart and determination will get him there. Hello Brendan Gallagher. I will attempt to interview him tonight so Rockets fans can get a better appreciation for this fun player to watch.
- A nice bounce back game for Madison Bowey. I thought Bowey played arguably his worst game of the season Wednesday night in Spokane. Bowey looked involved last night, had two assists and wasn't scared to rush the puck. Seth Jones played a more simple game back on the Winterhawks blue line while Bowey wanted to manufacture offense. Any scout in the building should have liked both players.
- The crowd was outstanding. Ten seconds after puck drop the crowd noise hit the roof. It was impressive. The Portland Winterhawks Booster Club was situated in the west end of the arena and it was nice to see them represent their team. I heard they were treated with respect by the locals. That's what I like to see. We are all family in the big scheme of things. We all love our teams and we love our league.
- I appreciate all the well wishes on my 45th birthday. Coaches and scouts wishing me happy birthday was flattering. Word gets around fast. Helps me cope with being five years away from 50! Enjoy tonight's game. Talk with you then.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Despite the outcome, that my friends was fun
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- McKinlay having career year
- Rockets games notes vs. Seattle
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- Goal scoring by committee - audio
- The race for first place
- There back!
- Rockets get their groove back
- Flashback interview with Tyson Barrie
- Rockets all-time leading d-man pots first in NHL
- Fatigue a factor in February losses
- Rockets game notes vs. Blazers
- Photo's from Everett
- Game notes vs. Tips
- Huska heading into BC Hockey Hall of Fame
- Petan's natural hattrick audio
- Fight is YouTube hit - literally!
- Character win to end tough stretch
- Winterhawks prove they are a cut above
- Despite the outcome, that my friends was fun
- Rockets game notes vs. Winterhawks
- First regulation loss of 2013
- By the numbers
- 40 never looked so good
- 'Whistle' while you work
- A January to remember
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