Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Enough goals for ya?

Shoot the Breeze Photography - Marissa Baecker
  • The Kelowna Rockets need to tighten up their defensive game if they hope to make a long push into the WHL playoffs. The Prince George Cougars should also take a similar path if they want to play past the end of the regular season. The two teams combined for 14 goals Tuesday night in the Rockets 9-5 win. After playing to a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes, it was a wild second period where the two BC Division rivals exploded for 9 goals. When the dust had settled, the Rockets moved five points up on the idle Portland Winterhawks for first place in the WHL standings while the Cougars remain a point back of Tri City for the final playoff spot with the Americans holding four games in hand.
  • Why all the goals and the lackluster defensive play? My theory is this often happens when teams' meet each other several times over a short period of time. The Rockets and Cougars were playing each other for the third time in five days.
  • When was the last time the Rockets were involved in a game where 14 goals were scored? It happened December 9/2009 in Regina when the Rockets beat the Pats 9-5. Back in the 2008/09 season the Rockets also combined for 14 goals in a 8-6 loss in Everett.
  • Putting up 9 goals against the Cougars is huge, but not as massive as the 11-1 win in Prince George January 11/ 2008.     
  • What are the most combined goals the Rockets have been involved with an opponent? How about a 9-9 tie with the Tri City Americans October 11/1997. Brett McLean had five points. Chris Noble and Jordon Watt shared the duties in goal and had a rough night. Head Coach Marcel Comeau likely aged a bit. Tri City was 5 for 7 on the power play.
  • The positive side in this one was the line of 20 year-old Marek Tvrdon, 17 year-old Rourke Chartier and 16 year-old rookie Nick Merkley. All three individuals are extremely quiet off the ice, but put a stick in their hands and they are the life of the party! The trio combined for 9 points.  Tvrdon had a goal and three assists, Chartier had three assists and Merkley had two goals.
  • Despite what you may have read elsewhere, Tyrell Goulbourne did not register his first career hat trick Tuesday night. The 19 year-old managed a four goal game last season.
  • In a game that featured 14 goals, you would think Rockets' leading scorer Myles Bell and second leading point getter Ryan Olsen would have played prominent roles. Bell chipped in with a lone assist while Olsen failed to hit the score sheet. Olsen sat in Coach Huska's doghouse for the majority of the second period and didn't see the ice after taking a double minor which resulted in a power play goal against. That goal gave the Cougars a fighting chance even though the visitors found themselves down 4-1 after three quick goals which eventually chased starting Prince George goaltender Ty Edmonds.
  • I hate to correct people and I often need correction myself, but the Cougars win last Saturday over the Rockets did not snap a 13 game losing steak against their Okanagan rivals. The Cougars beat the Rockets last season at the CN Centre by a 6-3 score. The only streak that came to an end last Saturday was the Rockets 6 game winning streak at the CN Centre. 
  • The Rockets immediately after the game boarded the bus where they meet the Americans in Tri City tonight.

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