Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rockets' are human in back-to-back home ice losses

  • Dan Lambert didn't call it adversity after a pair of one goal losses against the Portland Winterhawks this weekend. The Kelowna Rockets head coach called it "a reality check". Can't argue with that. The Rockets, as good as their record may be, need to play a certain way in order to have success. Deviate off that template and the team finds itself riding a two game losing streak (0-1-1-0). Myles Koules scored game winner Saturday night in a 4-3 win for the Winterhawks, who also won the night before in overtime by the same score. The Rockets rallied with three-third period goals but came up short in their first regulation loss on home ice this season.
  • A decent start for the Rockets in this one. In fact, if you compare it to Friday's game, it was a significantly better opening 20 minutes. The second period saw the Winterhawks score twice for a 3-0 lead. The killer goal to give up was a Dominic Turgeon centering attempt that went off Rockets rookie Tomas Soustal and into the back of the net. It was a gift goal for the visitors, who need no help in manufacturing offense.
  • Whatever was said in the second intermission paid off as the Rockets had the most jump we've seen this weekend. They were hitting, playing significant minutes in the offensive zone and finding the back of the net three times. Rourke Chartier scored his league leading 25th and 26th goals of the season. 
  • The power play was the story of the weekend. The Winterhawks was deadly and the Rockets were below average. The Winterhawks were 4 for 11 with the extra man, or 50% of their 8 goals scored came with the extra man. The Rockets were 1 for 9, which means five of the six goals they scored were either even strength (4 of them) with one coming shorthanded.   
  • Why isn't Adin Hill the Winterhawks #1 goaltender? I would say five solid periods by the Calgary resident. 
  • Oliver Bjorkstrand was the best skater on the ice Saturday. Works hard. Battle levels is high. Always around pucks. The 19 year-old made a beautiful move to score his lone goal of the game by cutting around Riley Stadel before depositing the puck on the fore-hand past Rockets goaltender Jackson Whistle.
  • The Rockets again played this game with 17 skaters, which was one under the league limit. The Winterhawks played the game without Paul Bitttner, who was hurt in Friday's opening game.
  • Nice scrap between the Nic's! Nic Petan dropped the gloves with Nick Merkley. The good news? No one broke a hand. I counted two punches throw. One that missed from Merkley with a hay-maker right and a Petan punch when Merkley fell to the ice after the attempted knock out punch.

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