Saturday, November 15, 2014

Northern climate brings out best in Baillie

Tyson Baillie
  • Tyson Baillie likes Prince George. He has never publicly said that, but when you score as many goals in the Western Hockey League's furthest most northern outpost, the about to turn 19 year-old has to love something about BC's northern capital. Whether its the cold climate or the smell of the local pulp mill, Baillie thrives up here. The Edmonton resident scored two power play goals last night leading the Rockets to a 6-3 win over the Cougars. Baillie now has five goals against the Cougars in the first three games of the 8 game seasonal series. In Baillie's career, the third round bantam pick has seven goals at CN Centre.
  • Friday night's win came with its fair share of warts. The Rockets gave the Cougars gifts on no less than two of three goals. Odd man rushers were also plentiful, but more so for the Cougars. A shorthanded goal on a two-on-one, which tied the game at three was a great example of the miscues the visitors had in the three goal win. 
  • A great penalty killing display by Joe Gatenby in the second period. The second year Rockets d-man blocked several shots on a Cougars power play and got in the way of a puck when goaltender Jackson Whistle was out of position. Gatenby made the save by diving to get in the way of the puck, taking away a sure goal. Whistle had some luck in this one when the Cougars hit the post no less than twice.
  • Rourke Chartier is in a zone. The 18 year-old scored another two goals with his second of the game  of the spectacular variety. Chartier received a picture perfect pass from line-mate Nick Merkley who was skating along the far side boards. Merkley threaded the puck to the bottom of the right face-off circle where Chartier wired a one time shot high over the shoulder of Cougars goaltender Jared Rathjan. That pass you won't often see at the WHL level. 
  • Speaking of Merkley, the 17 year-old should have earned two assists last night. Merkley clearly dropped the puck off to Tyrell Goulbourne, who took a shot on net that Chartier then converted for his 21st goal of the season. The official scorer gave Jesse Lees the assist.  
  • Jesse Lees is a tough, tough dude. The 19 year-old was clocked by David Soltes in the third period just inside the Cougars blue line. I don't think either player saw the other coming. I know Lees didn't, who crashed to the ice but amazingly made his way up onto his feet and skated off the ice. A shift later, Lees was back and didn't look any worse for wear.   
  • Kris Schmidli scored his first goal in 18 games. Schmidli's last goal, prior to last night, was September 28th in Prince George. 
  • The Rockets are now 10-1-1-0 in 2 road games this season. 
  • With Brandon's home ice loss to Seattle last night, the Rockets are the only team in the WHL without a loss on home ice this season.

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