Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jamie Benn, you've got company!

Jamie Benn as a member of the Rockets
  • Move over Jamie Benn, you have company. For the first time since the Dallas Stars captain scored 20 goals in 20 games with the Kelowna Rockets in 2008-2009, another player has come along having accomplished an even more impress feat. Eighteen year-old Rourke Chartier scored his league leading 19th and 20th goals of the season Tuesday night in a 4-3 win in Spokane. Chartier scored those 20 goals in 19 games, one better than Benn six years earlier. Benn would find the back of the net as a 19 year-old 46 times that season after scoring 20 goals in his first 20 games. What makes Chartier’s accomplishment so impressive is he is a year younger. In Benn’s 18 year-old season, his first in the WHL, the sharp shooter didn’t score his 20th goal until his 37th game. Benn would go on to score 33 times that season. Chartier is now 4 goals shy of the career high 24 he put up one season ago.    
  • It was a tough start for the Rockets Tuesday night. They gave up the first goal just 56 seconds into the contest when they surrendered their first shot on goal. But like any good team that has the ability to bounce back, the Rockets would tie the game on Cole Linaker’s 4th of the season after the defensive forward picked up his own rebound after being denied originally by Chiefs goaltender Garrett Hughson. The Rockets would fire 11 shots on net in the opening 20 minutes but struggled on the power play, failing to capitalize on three-first period chances.
  • The Rockets best period was the second when they scored twice on nice efforts from Tyrell Goulbourne and Rourke Chartier. Chartier would pick up a rebound on a Riley Stadel shot that was stopped on a tremendous backdoor pass from Nick Merkley. Goulbourne too picked up a rebound and buried it for his 8th goal of the season and fourth in two games.  But despite a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes, Chartier would have to score his second goal of the game about 9 minutes into the third period in order for the Rockets to earn their 18th win of the season and 9th on the road.
  • The Rockets played this one shorthanded. Madison Bowey and Tyson Baillie were away at the Subway Super Series and Austin Glover was injured in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Vancouver.  It forced the Rockets to play with just 16 skaters, which were two under the league limit. The coaches went with 10 forwards and six defenceman. If the Chiefs wanted to beat the Rockets, this was their best chance of the season with the visitors short staffed. =The Chiefs are now 0-3-0-0 in the seasonal series with the finale March 7th back at Prospera Place. The only good news on the injury front is 17 year-old goalie Jake Morrissey returned to the line up after recovering from an upper body injury.
  • In only his fourth game with the Rockets, 18 year-old Rodney Southam was involved physically with a second period scrap with Chiefs forward Markson Bechtold. The two traded punches in a spirited tilt at centre ice. The two attempted to scrap earlier but the linesman quickly jumped in before the two could lock horns. They were sent to the penalty box with unsportsmanlike conducts but promptly engaged with one another 15 seconds after they served their two minute minors.
  • I hate diving, or what is known as embellishment. I thought several of the Chiefs were light on their skates and were prone to falling down easily. The biggest offender was Spokane leading scorer Adam Helewka. Rockets forward Tate Coughlin was called for hooking when Helewka softly went down in the second period.  It was a little tit for tat though. Kris Schmidli fell down on a banana peel (figure of speech) less than two minutes later and Spokane defenceman Jason Fram was in the penalty box for tripping.
  • The Rockets are now 14-0-0-0 when leading after 40 minutes.  Last season the team was 43-1-0-3 when leading after two periods.
  • Next on the menu? It is a date with the Cougars up in Prince George this Friday and Saturday night. Both Madison Bowey and Tyson Baillie will be back in the line up after their representation with Team WHL at the Subway Super Series.  The Cougars will be one of two things, either rested or rusty. They haven’t played a game since last Saturday’s 6-2 home ice loss to the Victoria Royals. 

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