Sunday, February 2, 2014

All is well with Myles Bell

Myles Bell had record setting 6 point game - Shoot The Breeze Photography
  • Last month Myles Bell and I reflected on his 300 games in the Western Hockey League. In the interview in Victoria, the 20 year-old told me his fondest memory was a game seven playoff series win over the Seattle Thunderbirds last season when his team came back from being down 3 games to none. His biggest goal was a toss up between his first ever in the WHL against the now defunct Chilliwack Bruins or the overtime goals he scored most recently on an Eastern Division road trip prior to the Christmas break. Let's just say that will all change after the overage forward put up a franchise tying six points with four goals and two assists in a 7-3 win Saturday night over the Kamloops Blazers. Bell now has 35 goals, which is the third highest total in the WHL. This will go down as Bell's greatest moment - individually - in his major junior career. 
  • How does Bell measure up after a 6 point game? Jamie Benn had 6 points (2+4=6) against the Prince George Cougars in a 6-3 win January 19, 2008. Cody Sylvester had a seven point game with the Calgary Hitmen last season. Portland's Taylor Leier and Regina's Chandler Stephenson had 6 point games last season. Thanks to Andy Kemper for that data.
  • What makes Bell's accomplishment so impressive is he scored the first goal of the first period, the first goal of the second period and the first goal of the third period. Bell opened the scoring and closed out the scoring thanks to his 4th goal of the game. It is mind boggling that it was only his first three goal game of his WHL career.
  • Coach Ryan Huska on Bell's big night. "When we look at our weekend, he was by far the best player. There are a lot of nights where, when you look at our team, you can't pick out the guy that is the best guy out on the ice. It has been very evident the last two nights that Myles did a fantastic job. I thought early on tonight he was one of our only guys that had jump consistently". 
  • Bell was one of only a handful of players that brought their 'A' game to the table. It was another struggle for the home team, who had a slim 4-3 lead on the last place Blazers heading into the third period. The Rockets played with more urgency in the final period after the visitors scored back-to-back goals 82 seconds apart to make a four goal deficit into just a two goal deferential with 20 minutes left to play.        
  • While the Rockets scored seven goals, work is badly needed at the other end of the ice. The defensive zone is a bit of a mess right now as the d-men and forwards are making uncharacteristic plays, which against a top flight team would result in more than a fair share of pucks in the back of the net. The biggest thing the Rockets need on this five game home stand is practice time.       
  • Ryan Olsen had a two point game with a goal and an assist. The 19 year-old could have scored twice but missed a wide open net in the second period when he had Blazers goaltender Bolton Pouliot dead to his rights. Olsen's shot missed wide to the right much to the amazement of the fans and Olsen himself. Olsen is now 7 points shy of his career high of 56 points set last season. It would be fair to say he has been one of the better forwards over the last two weeks. 
  • Kris Schmidli had two assists with family in attendance Saturday night. The rookie is coming off a January where he recorded 8 points, his highest monthly output of the season.        
  • Jordon Cooke earned his 30th win of the season.
  • The Rockets are 8 for 13 on the power play in their last three games.  
  • My apologies. Rookie Joe Gatenby picked up an assist against the Blazers, his second career assist of his career. I think I mentioned on the air that it was his first WHL point. That is not the case. Gatenby had an assists in Regina on the prairie road trip prior to Christmas.
  • Rourke Chartier has been one of the best forwards over the last 12 games. The 17 year-old has six multi point games over that stretch with 16 points.
  • The Rockets continue a five game home stand Wednesday against the Red Deer Rebels. 

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