Saturday, November 23, 2013

How do you like those apples?

  • How do you like those apples? It was an expression often used by a school teacher of mine when we would learn something new in class. Once we came to a positive conclusion to a questions we were attempting to figure out, my teacher would proclaim, "How do you like those apples"? Translation: Pretty impressive eh? The same could be said for the Kelowna Rockets play in Tri City Friday night. A convincing and at times dominating 4-1 win. For a territorial standpoint, this game wasn't even close. The Rockets spent good portions attacking and creating good scoring chances. What amazed me the most was despite the dominant play from the road team, the Americans were still in the game heading into the third period. Madison Bowey's point shot about five minutes into the third period changed all that as the Rockets built up a 3-0 lead.
  • I was a little surprised to see the Americans start 16 year-old goaltender Evan Sarthou. I anticipated number one Eric Comrie would get the nod but I had heard that the third year veteran might be  shaking off the affects of a concussion? Regardless, Sarthou played well and was the main reason why this game didn't turn into a laugher.  Sarthou is going to have to be the man when Comrie attempts to crack Team Canada's line up next month for a chance at representing his country at the World Junior Hockey Championships.
  • How much time did the Americans spend in their own zone playing defence? When your top line of Brian Williams, Connor Rankin and Parker Bowles are a combined -9, you get the idea that keeping the puck out of the net was taking precedence over going to the attack.
  • An interesting move by Americans head coach Jim Hiller. With seven minutes left in the third period and the Rockets nursing a 3-0 lead, Hiller elected to pull his goalie when his team was awarded a power play. It backfired, with Cole Linaker scoring into an empty net, shorthanded, to give the Rockets a 4-0 advantage.  Moments later the Americans would score their lone goal on the power play.  
  • Madison Bowey just continues to score. Now 11 goals on the season, the 18 year-old has one fewer goal than his career high of 12 set last season. Bowey has five goals in his last four games.
  • It was nice to see Rourke Chartier score. The 17 year-old had just one goal in 18 games heading into Friday's contest.
  • A bounce back for goaltender Jordon Cooke. While not overly busy, the 20 year-old made two point blank saves in the win. The stop he made on Matthew Gelinas in the third period was impressive.
  • It appeared Americans captain Mitch Topping was hurt in the third period and never played down the stretch. 
  • Former Rockets enforcer Jessey Astles didn't play against his old team. Now 20, Astles was serving game one of a two game suspension for a hit from behind earlier this week.   
  • Nick Merkley had two assists and has now caught Seattle's Mathew Barzal for the WHL lead in rookie scoring by a 16 year-old. Both players have 23 points. 

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