Sunday, September 14, 2014

The pre-season grind is over - thankfully!!

  • The Kelowna Rockets surrendered three unanswered goals Saturday night in a 3-2 loss to the Victoria Royals. Colton Heffley and Austin Glover scored in the loss. Jake Morrissey made 16 saves in the setback. The Rockets end the pre-season with two wins in six pre-season games entering the home opener this Saturday against the visiting Kamloops Blazers.
  • Colton Heffley's goal was his third of the pre-season. The 20 year-old lead the team in goals scored.
  •  Austin Glover lead the team in exhibition scoring with 5 points (1+4=5) in five games. Kris Schmidli was next with four points (1=3=4).
  • While the Rockets dressed three 20 year-olds against the Royals, it was a young looking line up. The team has eight players away from NHL camps, so it will look much different in the next six days. Cole Martin, Colton Heffley and Tyrell Goulbourne were the three overagers that played Saturday night which forced Carter Rigby to watch from the sidelines. 
  • Rigby, Goulbourne and Martin all played just three of the teams six pre-season games. Heffley played in all six.
  • Martin had the 'C' on his jersey Saturday night. The 20 year-old had the privilege considering Madison Bowey is away at pro camp. It will be interesting to see if Martin is included in the leadership group this season. You won't find anyone more competitive than him. There is also a certain focus/demeanor that the Texan has brought back with him to Kelowna after a summer of training back in his home state.
  • What was Tyrell Goulbourne doing in Kelowna last night? Isn't he suppose to be at Philadelphia Flyers training camp? 
  • The Rockets scored just 13 goals in six pre-season games. Will scoring he hard to come by this season? Don't let the last couple of weeks fool you. The exhibition schedule means very little when the real puck is dropped on September 20th.
  • The Rockets finished dead last in the Western Conference in the pre-season with four points. The Victoria Royals had just five. Both are expected to battle for top spot in the BC Division this season.
  • For the record, I dislike pre-season. It has to be done, but I am not sure what we learn from it? Coaches get a chance to see young players in a 'real' game situation, but when it is void of a significant amount of veteran players, it doesn't serve the fans very well. And to be honest, pre-season isn't about the fans anyway. I think all will agree it is nice to know the evaluation process is over.
  • Fortunately the Rockets played only two pre-season games at home. On both night's the weather outside was spectacular and the crowds inside the building were very small. In fact, I can't remember the crowds being that small at this time of the year. Lets face it, only the hardcore fans are coming out on a beautiful fall evening.
  • A new font? It looked from high above that the Rockets name bars looked slightly different than last season. I thought it was easier to see as a broadcaster...and trust me I need all the help I can get.
  • Director of Officiating Kevin Muench was at last night's game. Muench told me veteran referee's Brett Montsion won't be back this season after moving to Ontario. Montsion will continue his refereeing career in the O-H-L. Veteran official Pat Smith is retiring. Smith had the privilege of officiating at the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships and the 2010 Memorial Cup in Brandon. The Vancouver resident was also named the WHL official of the year in 2011-2012. Smith officiated for 12 years in the WHL.

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