Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dandy defensive effort in 51st win

  • They say defense wins championships. If that is true, which it in fact is, the Kelowna Rockets will need the type of performance they displayed Friday night in a 6-0 win over the visiting Vancouver Giants. The Rockets kept the Giants, for the most part, to the outside in the lopsided win. Jordon Cooke earned his 3rd shutout of the season and 8th career goose egg with a 31 save effort. The 20 year-old goaltender made three solid stops with his right pad in helping his team earn its 51st victory of the season. It was Cooke's timely saves and the limited giveaways/turnovers by the Rockets that really caught my eye in one of their best d-zone efforts of the season.
  • Oh sure, the Rockets scored six goals with four of them coming in the third period.  Rookie forward Nick Merkley scored twice giving him 20 goals on the season. The last 16 year-old rookie to score over 20 goals was Shane McColgan. Damon Severson chipped in with three assists giving the 19 year-old the bragging rights of being second in team scoring behind only Myles Bell.  Bell scored his 41st goal of the season late in the second period to give the team a 2-0 lead.
  • Marek Tvrdon had one assist in his first game against his old team. Tvrdon should have had two assists after setting up Nick Merkley, who sent the puck into the slot for line mate Rourke Chartier who missed a wide open net. The three way passing play was another example of how good the trio is working together right now. Tvrdon extended his point streak to six.   
  • Madison Bowey scored his 16th goal of the season. It marked his first goal in 17 games. The team record for goals by a defenceman is 19 set by Tyson Barrie in 2009-2010.   
  • Damon Severson had 16 points in February. So did Bell, who scored 10 goals in the month. Since December 7th, Bell has scored 32 times. That is 32 goals in his last 38 games.  
  • The Rockets hit two posts in the game including Cole Martin hitting the pipe in an attempt to get his first goal of the season. Rookie Joe Gatenby also had a real good chance to get his first career goal with a startling slap shot in the first period that just missed the far post.
  • Giants 15 year-old Tyler Benson came close to scoring his first career goal. The Edmonton product had a great chance at the left face-off circle in the second period only to see fellow Albertan (Leduc) Jordon Cooke make a nice blocker save.
  • The Rockets ended the month of February with 10 wins in 13 games. That is the fourth straight month where the team has manufactured 10 or more victories. The team accomplished the feat in November, December, January and February.        
  • The win (51) is one off the team record of 52 set last season.
  • A solid crowd of over 57 hundred were an active bunch. While not a sell out, the crowds over the last two games have had more energy and spunk then what we saw in the first five months of the season.

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