Sunday, September 29, 2013

Royals roar back to beat Rockets

  • The Kelowna Rockets honestly didn't deserve a point in Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Victoria Royals. Goaltender Jordon Cooke was the main reason why they didn't suffer a loss in regulation time. Cooke made several solid stops, including a sensational glove hand stop on a Royals power play in overtime, sending the game to the shootout. Sure, Cooke was unable to stop all three Victoria shooters he faced, but the home team had no business being there in the first place.
  • If you think I am harsh on the teams effort, remember what head coach Ryan Huska said after the game? Huska says his team has played just two good periods in their first three games. Ouch!   
  • The Royals simply outworked the Rockets and scored the final three goals of the game for their first win in four games. Forward Ben Walker was the best player on the ice from my standpoint. The 20 year-old was always around the puck and was rewarded for his great night by scoring the game winner with a forehand deke on Cooke in the shootout.
  • Myles Bell and Damon Severson returned to the Rockets line up and their contributions were clearly evident. Bell scored once and added an assist and scored in the shootout. Playing on a line with Zach Franko and Ryan Olsen, Bell made some good things happened and was named the games second star. Severson had his moments of brilliance with quick passes and no less than three shots on goal. 
  • Bell's two points now gives him 200 for his career.  
  • What I failed to see Saturday night from the Rockets was a lot of hitting. The biggest collision came when Royals d-man Ryan Gagnon attempted to clobber Rockets forward Austin Glover at the Victoria blue line. The impact sent Gagnon fly backwards, hitting the padded stanchion at the Victoria bench. 
  • The Rockets played the game without MacKenzie Johnston. The 20 year-old was the odd man out as the team elected to dress Jordon Cooke, Zach Franko and Myles Bell.  
  • Despite the shootout loss, the Rockets are one of only three teams without a regulation loss this season. 
  • The last time the Rockets were involved in a shootout game prior to Saturday was March 6th of last season when they beat the Royals 4-3. The Rockets played in only two shootout games last season.
  • For the record, I hate the shootout.
  • Of the last seven shootout games at Prospera Place, five of them have ended in 4-3 scores.

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