Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hot goaltender hands Rockets' 9th loss

  • The Kelowna Rockets simply ran into a hot goaltender. 17 year-old Ty Edmonds stood on his head Saturday night making 43 saves leading the Prince George to a 2-1 win on home ice. The Rockets dominated the first period but were unable to get one past Edmonds, who faced 14 shots in the opening 20 minutes alone. The only Rockets player to get one past Edmonds, who was playing in front of his parents during the Cougars 'parents weekend', was Rourke Chartier, who scored his 20th goal of the season with 1:11 remaining in the second period. While seeing their five game winning streak come to an end, the Rockets can't hang their heads after this one. This was a terrific up tempo game that on most nights would see them skating away with a victory. Edmonds was named the games first star for his solid effort. While at times unorthodox, the Winnipeg resident was the main reason why his team was able to win its 12th home game of the season. 
  • The Cougars scored the game winner after Todd Fiddler was able to keep a puck just inside the Rockets blue-line and found 16 year-old Jansen Harkins hiding behind the defence. Harkins received the pass and  backhanded the puck through the legs of Jordon Cooke, who attempted to poke check it off Harkins stick. Cooke faced just 25 shots in the game, with no less than four long range clear ins. This was a terrific defensive effort by the Rockets, who were significantly better in all aspects of their game after a 4-2 win the night previous.
  • The Cougars are a good team. They should frankly not be in the situation they are in right now, which is one point out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. If you think they are a weak sister in the WHL you are sadly mistaken. In fact, my belief they are every bit as good as the Tri City Americans if not better. They can score and work hard. Despite Edmonds heroics on Saturday, clearly the weak link is in goal. That is a crucial position where strength is needed to earn the final playoff spot in the Conference. That is the reason many people believe the Americans have the upper hand with Eric Comrie.
  • Rookie Dalton Yorke should be mentioned here for his two fight game. The 17 year-old scrapped with Zach Gonek in the first period and then re-introduced himself to the 17 year-old who has 16 fighting majors this season. Yorke has only 7 tilts yet proved to Gonek that it isn't the number of fighting majors that proves you are a worthy combatant.     
  • I sure like Marc McNulty. Somewhat isolated in Prince George, the lanky Cougars defenceman has 15 goals, which is 7 shy of the club record of 22.  A 10th round bantam pick of the Cougars, the team hit a home run with the 6'6 blue liner.        
  • It marked only the third time this season the Rockets have managed one goal on the road. The team lost 3-1 in Victoria, 4-1 in Seattle and 2-1 in Prince George.
  • Overall, the team has won six of seven games against the Cougars in the seasonal series. The two teams' close things off Tuesday night at Prospera Place before potentially meeting in round one in late March.     
  • As mentioned, a nice ceremony before puck drop in Prince George during parents weekend. The parents were all ushered onto the ice for a pre-game ceremony. Each parent was introduced and then the player of that parent skated towards them from the bench and presented their loved one with a flower. Nice touch.  

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