Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cougars goalie takes liking to Kelowna ice

Cougars goaltender Ty Edmonds
  • Let's get one thing straight. Goaltender Ty Edmonds has been awful against the Kelowna Rockets at home this season. But let's also point out that the 18 year-old Prince George Cougars netminder has been lights out terrific on the road. For a second consecutive game, Edmonds was the first star at Prospera Place with a 45 save performance in his teams 5-3 win last night. That victory came on the heels of another excellent outing December 5th when he turned 37 shots aside in a 4-3 upset victory. Edmonds numbers on home ice as opposed to the road in the seasonal series against the Kelowna Rockets is mind boggling. On home ice, Edmonds has been pulled twice in three starts. The veterans goals against average is 6.99 with a save percentage of .789. That's ugly. But those numbers improve significantly when he plays in Kelowna. Born in Whitehorse Yukon, Edmonds is 2-0-0-0 with a save percentage of .932 and a goals against average of 3.00. While the goals against average isn't earth shattering, you have to remember he has faced significant rubber over his two stops in the Okanagan this season. Edmonds has been peppered with 88 shots and has stopped 82 of them. In essence, Edmonds has been a wall.
  • You can look at this game in two ways. The Cougars were opportunistic in the 20 chances they had on net. That you can't deny. But it would also be correct in pointing out it was a rough night for the goaltending duo of Jackson Whistle and Jake Morrissey. Have we said that once this season? The answer is no. The 19 year-old Whistle was pulled from the game after allowing 3 goals on 6 shots. It was the first time this season the veteran goaltender has had his game end prematurely. Morrissey, in a relief appearance, wasn't overly tested and was too deep in his net on the Cougars third period goal to make the score 5-2. 
  • The Rockets dominated large portions of the game with significant time in the offensive zone. At the end of the night they were stymied by a solid goaltending performance, which is going to happen over the course of a 72 game regular season. Edmonds heroics and a lack of a 'significant save' at the other end of the ice translated into the two goal loss. 
  • The Cougars were lucky too. How about Rockets forward Rodney Southam's second period chance on goal with a wide open net? Southam fires the puck into the yawning cage only to see Cougars overager Zach Pochiro get his skate on the puck and deflect it wide of the net.
  • You can't argue with the pace the Rockets played with last night. It was high tempo. I can't complain about the effort exuded in the o-zone. And when you surrender just 20 shots on net, is the d-zone coverage that bad? Jansen Harkins goal in the second period to make the score 4-2 was the greatest breakdown the Rockets had all night long. That is one significant breakdown in a 60 minute game. Oh sure, you could pick apart other miscues, but that was the most glaring. It created an odd man rush that the Cougars capitalized on. 
  • When is +/- misleading? When Rourke Chartier, Nick Merkley and Cole Martin are a combined -9 and you surrender only 20 shots on net, you know something about that stat doesn't add up.          
  • The Cougars are the second team this season to steal four points out of Prospera Place this season. The Portland Winterhawks earned a regulation win and an overtime victory back in November. The Cougars are the first team to beat the Rockets twice in regulation time at home this season. The only other teams' to win in regulation time at Prospera Place are the Winterhawks and Regina Pats.
  • I thought the Rockets physical play has taken a step forward over the past two games. It must be by design. The forecheck is more tenacious and the number of big hits - specifically by the forwards - is clearly evident.              
  • Justin Kirkland and Riley Stadel each had a goal and two assists in the win. Kirkland extended his point streak to 6 games. Over that stretch, the 18 year-old has 4+8=12. In December, Kirkland collected 13 points, the most since a 13 point month in October.
  • Stadel's goal was a long time coming. It was his first goal in 28 games.
  • Before the game it was revealed that leading goal scorer Rourke Chartier, who scored his 35th goal of the season in the loss, had signed a contract with the NHL's San Jose Sharks. The Sharks officially released the information this morning. Chartier is a 5th round pick of the Sharks from this summer and the contract is well deserved for a player who's commitment to the craft is unquestioned. 
  • Tyrell Goulbourne found himself in only his 4th fight of the season when he squared off with Cougars captain Sam Ruopp in the third period. It was the 20 year-old's first tilt in 14 games.
  • Up next is a road game in Kamloops Friday night to ring in the New Year followed by another home game against the Prince George Cougars Saturday night. Ty Edmonds can't wait! 

1 comment:

g.k said...

Happy New Year Regan!! Looking forward to the rematch with the Cougars on Saturday night. I just read that Leon Draisaitl has been sent back to the WHL by the Oilers & the Rockets have made a move to acquire him, I would think Schmidli would be part of this as we only have room for two Euro's!! Also rumor has it Ryan Olsen is coming back as our 3rd overager!! Memorial Cup here we come!!