Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat

Ryan Olsen scored tying goal 

  • I would have hated to be the fan that made a quick dash to the exit after the Vancouver Giants scored with 37 seconds left in the third period in last night's 4-3 Kelowna Rockets overtime victory. Oh sure, the goal gave the visitors a 3-2 lead, but with the goaltender pulled for the extra attacker, Ryan Olsen would take two whacks at the puck at the side of the net to tie the game at three. Then in overtime, Damon Severson would score the game winner by back handing the puck past Giants goaltender Jared Rathjen for the come-from-behind victory. The win was the Rockets 20th of the season and moved them to within three points of Portland for first place in the overall standings. The only possible loser on this night was the fan that wanted to warm up his car, avoid the post game traffic and in the process demonstrated no faith in the home teams ability to come back and win. 
  • Again, this game wasn't pretty for the Rockets through 40 minutes. Generating just 13 shots on net, the only reason why they were in any position to fight back in the game was the play of goaltender Jordon Cooke. The 20 year-old goaltender made several big stops, including glove hand saves on Giants captain Dalton Thrower and a breakaway save shorthanded on Tim Traber. Cooke was the best player on the ice and was worthy of first star. His save on Jackson Houck in overtime was also clutch. 
  • If I ever complain again about Cooke not playing well, you have permission to poke me in the eyes and kick me between the legs. How many times has Cooke either kept his team in the game or has stolen a game outright? Amazing.  
  • It was the Rockets first regular season overtime win at home since March 12/2012. Zach Franko scored in a 4-3 win over the Kamloops Blazers. 
  • The Rockets are in a situation now where they are making life difficulty for themselves. Essentially they need to 'dumb down' their game. They are trying to make pretty passing plays and it just isn't the real make up of the team. Colton Heffley's goal to tie the game at two is the best example of what this team does best. They are hard on the fore-check, win board battles and grease it up in front of the opposition goalie. I thought Heffley's goal was a perfect example where he and line-mates Kris Schmidli and Tyson Baillie literally willed the puck into the Vancouver net.  
  • Tyson Baillie played on a line with Myles Bell and Tyrell Goulbourne for the majority of the game and was the best of the trio. Baillie scored once and added two assists. What I liked about Baillie's play was his willingness not to give up when things weren't going well for him early in the game. He too was snubbed on a breakaway attempt and had several good chances to score but held his head high. Eventually Baillie would be rewarded with offensive success. Baillie's mental toughness early in the game was the key in his three point effort.
  • If you are a forward or defenceman entering the offensive zone, please don't attempt to stick handle through four defenders. It doesn't work.
  • The Rockets were especially sloppy in turning over the puck. It resulted in several glorious chances on Cooke. Carter Rigby's glaring giveaway in the neutral zone allowed Giants overager Cain Franson to score one of his two goals. Instead of moving the puck up ice, the Rockets d-men were often seen moving the puck backwards into their own zone which created a turnover and unnecessary play at the wrong end of the ice.  
  •  How did you like three-on-three in overtime? Wasn't that fantastic? Scoring chances galore. I would take that over the shootout to decide a winner.   
  • Ryan Olsen has goals in three straight games. 
  • Up next is a home date against the Everett Silvertips Friday night. 


Shooter09 said...

I find it interesting that in a game that is full of turnovers and a little lack luster for 2 1/2 periods you choose to single out one player for his glaring mistake that happened at 7:15 of the second period.Bell has a glaring turnover at the blueline that results in a clear breakaway but no mention of that because Cooke bailed him out with a nice glove save.What ever happened to "Let's getter back boys"Lot's of time to pull together as a team and erase the mistakes.Where was the defense on this play, as it happened in the neutral zone, oh ya jumping up into the play again.Bowey,who is guilty of so many turnovers, turns and snaps at his teammate.There is no one who feels worse that the player that just committed the mistake.Give him a chance to redeem himself next shift as most other players get.Just don't kick a player while he is down.I know there are many set team plays but we have to stop carrying the puck up the ice, feel some pressure and throw an arrant pass back through the strong side that results in these turnovers.Did you notice that in the 3rd period the defense were headmanning the puck, not trying to carry it out,and our forwards were getting pucks deep to force Vancouver, that was the difference late in the 3rd and overtime, just keep the game simple when you are struggling.We win and loose as a team and it is going to take everybody at 100% to go deep this year in the playoffs.

Regan Bartel said...

I am not kicking a player when he is down. Pointing out a glaring turn over that results directly in a goal is stating the obvious. Did that player see the ice after that? Not till late in the game, but I could be wrong? I am glad you criticize me for pointing out an individuals error and then ended up criticizing one yourself. Hmm.

jaz301 said...

Its really sad when people cant wait an extra 30 seconds till the game is over in a 1 goal game. I stayed, but did I think the rockets were going to tie it. Not really, but there is always that possibility and Tuesday night that possibility became reality.

If getting home 5 minutes earlier is more important than watching the end of a game then just save yourself money and stay home you fairweather fans!

On another note the rockets have been playing very sloppy the last few games yet still finding ways to win. How long can they keep this up though before it bites them in the ass?