Monday, November 3, 2014

Road weary Rockets with another win

Vancouver Sun photo
  • He hadn’t played a competitive game for over a month but that didn’t stop the Kelowna Rockets from sending 18 year-old Michael Herringer between the pipes Sunday night against the Vancouver Giants.  Herringer showed some rink rust but also showed signs of being a steady back up to Jackson Whistle in a 5-3 road win. Herringer made just 16 saves but provided the Rockets the goaltending they needed in their 14th win of the season. The win moved Kelowna into a tie for first place in the overall WHL standings with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Both teams have 29 points with the Rockets having played two fewer games.
  • I thought the Rockets dominated the second period with significantly play inside the Giants zone. Despite a territorial advantage, the home team was one shot away from tying the game. I was shocked to learn th e Giants out-shot the Rockets 9-8 in the second period considering how lopsided the play appeared to be. The Giants wouldn’t go away, coming back from one goal deficits three separate times.
  • The coaches elected to make a few significant changes to their roster after a 3-2 overtime loss the night before in Portland. Kris Schmidli, who hasn’t scored a goal in 12 games, was a healthy scratch and Riley Stadel, who was on the ice for all three goals in Saturday’s loss in Portland, was used as a forward. Devonte Stephens, who scored his first career WHL goal against the Winterhawks as a forward, was relegated back to defense which is his natural position.
  • Rourke Chartier scored twice, giving him five goals in his last three games. Chartier had two goals in a 5-0 win in Portland Thursday, added another goal Saturday in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Winterhawks and added his league leading 13th and 14th goals of the season in Sunday’s win. Chartier has scored a goal in four straight games.
  • Dalton Yorke is turning into a pretty good hitter. The 18 year-old is clearly the teams’ most physical defenceman.  Yorke has had three significant hits in the last four games. Yorke’s aggressive presence is a welcome sign for a d-core that prides itself on moving the puck up the ice quickly.
  • The Giants goaltending is in good hands with Cory Porter. The former West Kelowna Warrior was sharp in this one, with his best stop coming early in the game on  a Rockets power play when he robbed Riley Stadel of a goal  with a great glove save.  
  • The coaches didn't like the fact they suffered an overtime loss in Portland Saturday night, but the team managed five out of a possible six points and now head into a portion of their schedule where they are playing three straight games on home ice. The only unfortunate aspect of that home stand is the games are played in four night's before again heading out on the bus to visit Spokane next Tuesday and the Prince George Cougars November 14th and 15th.   

No comments: