Saturday, December 14, 2013

Self doubt is not what they are all about

  • You can choose self doubt or have the belief to win. After what I witnessed Friday night in Brandon, the Kelowna Rockets believe in the latter. Down 5-3 with 2:20 remaining on the clock, Ryan Olsen and Myles Bell scored back-to-back goals 29 seconds apart before Bell would play the role of hero with the game winner on a breakaway in overtime. The win came out of nowhere considering the Wheat Kings looked like the team that was going to hand the Rockets only their fourth loss of the season. Everybody inside the building, outside of those on the Rockets bench, believed this game was over when the Wheat Kings scored a power play goal with rookie Nick Merkley in penalty box. It was the greatest comeback by the Rockets in recent memory and extended their winning streak to nine games.
  • I was shocked at the outcome, I really was and rightfully admitted it on the air. The Rockets missed a glorious opportunity to score when Riley Stadel made a picture perfect pass to Zach Franko at the side of the Wheat Kings when the visitors trailed by two goals late in the game. Instead of scoring, Franko chipped the puck high and wide of the net. That miss, I thought was the game. I sure am glad I was wrong.  
  • I hate to be negative after such as emotional win, but honestly I didn’t think the Rockets were that good. Not until they played with desperation late in the game, the Wheat Kings were out hustling and out chancing the Rockets. It wasn’t all negative though. The team fought back three times after trailing and showed good resilience after giving up the opening goal 29 seconds into the game and then giving up the Wheat Kings fourth goal 20 seconds into the third period.  
  • The power play generated two goals on three chances. That was a nice switch from a 0 for 6 night in Moose Jaw on Wednesday.
  • Tyson Baillie collected three assists and Zach Franko had a goal and two assists. Five of those six points were collected in the final crucial minutes of the third period and in overtime. Myles Bell was money on the breakaway when he made no mistake to lock down the Rockets 25th win of the season.  
  • Riley Stadel had a nice bounce back game after being a healthy scratch in Moose Jaw Wednesday night. Stadel made better decisions with the puck and played a more cautious game. Maybe the word cautious doesn’t fit. The 18 year-old used better puck management if you want me to use coaches talk to describe how much more improved he was when the puck was on his stick.
  • Zach Franko and Madison Bowey made the return to their home province of Manitoba. Franko ended up scoring once and adding two assists and now has 2+3=5 in three games on this road trip. Bowey picked up just his second point – an assist – in his last seven games. Franko’s mom and dad were in attendance from Winnipeg along with Bowey’s mother and brother Connor, a Rockets draft pick.
  • The win moved the Rockets 4 points up on Portland for first place in the WHL overall standings with still three games in hand. The Winterhawks suffered only their 7th loss in a setback in Seattle. 
  • Up next is a date with the Regina Pats tonight at the Brandt Centre. The Pats were in Saskatoon last night where they pulled through with a win. It also marks the first game for Myles  Bell in Regina since he was trade two seasons ago.

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