Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tvrdon Tremendous

Marek Tvrdon - Shoot the Breeze
  • I think it is safe to say even Vancouver Giants head coach Don Hay would have liked Marek Tvrdon's strong play Friday night against the Tri City Americans. The 20 year-old Kelowna Rockets forward, who was often in Hay's doghouse in his days with the Giants, played at his optimum level with his new team leading them to a 4-1 win. With the victory the Rockets advance to the second round of the WHL playoffs, winning the best of seven series in five games. Tvrdon scored once in the second period to give the Rockets a 2-0 lead and then responded with a third period power play goal to give his club a 3-1 advantage. Tvrdon also set up Rourke Chartier and Mitch Wheaton with tremendous passes that failed to end up in goals. Tvrdon had a point in every game in the series. 
  • Tvrdon had these thoughts on the series. "It was a tough series. Every game was very close. It was a tough series but we finished it hard and we keep going to the next series".  Tvrdon spoke to colour man Kevin Parnell about the power play goal, which essentially put the game away. "It was a lucky goal. I take it and I walked out and nobody was there so I take it to the net, put it on my backhand and throw it at the net".       
  • The only better player on the ice other than Tvrdon was teammate Jordon Cooke. The 20 year-old goaltender made several solid stops, but none bigger than a save on Americans overager Philip Tot on a grade 'A' scoring chance when the Rockets were clinging to a 2-1 lead. Cooke finished the series with a goals against average of 2.01 and a save percentage of .935. Cooke was my MVP in the opening round.    
  • Jordon Cooke had this to say about his strong third period play. "It is do or die. I have to do my job. The team was doing theirs so at that point its my turn". Cooke also liked what he saw my teammate Marek Tvrdon. "It was a great pick up at the deadline. He had a great game. He is pretty much a pure goal scorer and it was nice to see him get those two goals tonight", Cooke added.      
  • The Americans played a solid game. Despite trailing 2-0, the visitors battled back with a power play goal from forward Parker Bowles and had several glorious chances to score in the third period. Goaltender Eric Comrie didn't have to be as spectacular as Cooke, outside of a solid stop on defenceman Madison Bowey in the first period when the game was scoreless.    
  • I have to mention Damon Severson's terrific play. The 19 year-old's urgency level was much better and he was interested in engaging in body contact. Severson is such a better player when he is physical. He is so strong and adding a physical element completes his game. I didn't think the New Jersey Devils draft pick was very good in game four where he was stick checking, not separating the man from the puck.  
  • Congrats to Carter Rigby for scoring his first career WHL playoff goal.  
  • We know Tyrell Goulbourne is tough. Now we know Americans d-man Josh Thrower can fight. What a tilt between the two, who danced in the second period with neither player giving an inch. Goulbourne threw 16 punches while Thrower threw 15 times. Thrower is only 17. Goulbourne is now 20.
  • Any time a team is eliminated from the WHL playoffs I think of the 20 year-old's that have their junior careers come to an end. In this case, former Rockets forward, now Americans overager Jessey Astles ended his time in the WHL on the same ice he started it. Astles came into the league at 16 making his debut in September of 2009 at Prospera Place against the Giants.    
  • The Rockets will play the winner of the Everett/Seattle series. The T-Birds lead that best of seven series 3 games to one. 


jaz301 said...

Its hard to believe Eric Comrie is only 18. He matched the play of cooke who is a 20 year old. Comrie really kept the Ams in this series. They have a young team and will be interesting to see what they can do in a couple of years.

Kind of a disappointing crowd size for last nights game. First playoff game was 5800 and last nights game where you could potentially see rockets move on to the next round (which they did) only 4800. Wonder if it had something to do with the game being televised? That being said though the crowd may have been smaller, but they were into it last night.

Regan Bartel said...

Comrie is beauty. Great player. Class act too.
Thought Cooke was equal or better than Comrie in the game clincher though.Made some massive save.

I think the TV is a factor in a smaller crowd. Others will argue with me on that..but with today's unbelievable coverage and high def, sitting at home and watching is such an easy decision imo.