|Eric Comrie was good and Jordon Cooke was equal to the task|
- Tri City Americans goaltender Eric Comrie was solid. Kelowna Rockets crease keeper Jordon Cooke was equal to the task. The two goaltenders were the focal point heading into this best of seven series and played a prominent role in game one of this best of seven series. Cooke made 32 saves and Comrie made the same number in the Kelowna Rockets 3-1 win Saturday night, grabbing game one of this best of seven Western Conference Quarter Final series. Game two is set for Sunday afternoon at 5:05 at Prospera Place before the series shifts to Kennewick for games three and four next Tuesday and Wednesday night.
- Comrie was the busier of the two goaltenders in the early going as the Rockets came out hard in the first five to seven minutes by dictating the play. Leading scorer Myles Bell took a two minute penalty with about 7 minutes left in the first period and the Americans seemed to find their game after that. The visitors were equally as good as the Rockets, if not at times better in the second period, for the remainder of the game.
- Comrie experienced an equipment problem with his mask in the third period that took a significant amount of time to sort out. It had the Americans training staff hurrying back to the dressing room in an effort to repair and then eventually replace Comrie's mask. In the end it looked like they had to go with a second mask Comrie may have had with him? I know for a fact it wasn't back up Evan Sarthou's. Sarthou's mask has no design on it and it is simply white in colour like counterpart Jordon Cooke's.
- Everybody in the building couldn't believe the interference call assessed to Tyson Baillie after he was caught up in the crease with Comrie. It appeared Comrie was holding Baillie in the crease, and as the Rockets forward attempted to break loose, the Americans goaltender fell on his back and Baillie was sent to the penalty box. From there on out the officiating crew of Adam Griffiths and Sean Raphael were booed every time they skated onto the ice for the start of the second and third periods.
- Rourke Chartier played in just three playoff games last spring after getting hurt in game three of an opening round series against Seattle. The 17 year-old made up for lost time with two goals, not only opening up the scoring but also closing it with an empty net goal. Obviously it was Chartier's first two career playoff goals.
- I thought Mitch Wheaton had a strong game on the blue line. Not only did he chip in with an assist, I really liked his shot block in the third period when he stood in the way of a point drive that appeared to strike him in the arm. It is obvious that Wheaton is 'in it to win it' as Randy Jackson on American Idol often tells the competitors after a strong singing performance. I thought Wheaton was the Rockets best defender.
- I didn't notice him much in the seasonal series but Americans d-man Josh Thrower is a solid player. Thrower made some sweet outlet passes and looked composed with the puck. The 17 year-old also plays an aggressive game like his older brother Dalton. I like Thrower and 16 year-old Parker Wotherspoon. They are two young guys that will anchor the Americans d-core for years to come.
- Tyson Baillie was back in the line up for the Rockets in game one. Playing with Myles Bell and Justin Kirkland, the trio didn't light it up but the chemistry between the three will only improve as the series goes along.
- The crowd at Prospera Place was solid. The weather outside may have played a factor in coming close to a sell out in game one. Just over58 hundred fans watched the game and had the privilege of buying a 50/50 ticket where someone in the building walked away with 20 grand.