Sunday, December 7, 2014

No style points in one goal win

Shoot the Breeze Photography
  • Is it a sign of the type of impact 16 year-old Dillon Dube will make over his WHL career? Let's hope so. The Kelowna Rockets rookie forward has two goals in 6 career games. Both goals have been game winners. The slick skater scored the lone goal Saturday night - the Teddy Bear goal - in the Rockets 1-0 win over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. Jackson Whistle made 27 saves for his 4th shutout of the season and 7th of his career. In a game that had a playoff feel, the two teams' combined or just 10 shots before Dube scored, allowing the 47 hundred fans to litter the ice with Teddy Bears. The win put the wraps on a four game home stand for the Rockets, who managed two wins and two losses. Those victories came against Saskatoon and Prince Albert. The two setbacks were against the Regina Pats and Prince George Cougars.
  • You won't see too many games at Prospera Place ending with a 1-0 score. Both goalies deserve some credit for that, but both power plays were frankly awful.  Both units went 0 for 4 and the best chances to score came from the team defending with only four skaters. The Rockets, who own the best power play in the WHL, were just 1 for 13 on the weekend with the man advantage and have just 5 goals in 32 chances (16%) in their last 6 games. Had the power play been 'on' against the Cougars Friday night, they would have won the game.
  • After an emotionally filled game the night before against Prince George, this game had no-where near the same snarl. These two teams' showed very little hatred towards one another with little pushing and shoving after the whistle. Was it the fact both teams' were playing their third game in four night's? Whatever it was, the game took just 2 hours and 9 minutes to play as both teams' took just four minor penalties. 
  • It looked like the Raiders were content with squeezing out a win against the Rockets. It was low risk hockey. They didn't want to get into a high scoring affair with the home team it seemed.  The Raiders had sufficient chances to score though, with none better than Reid Gardner's sharp angle shot in the third period that went passed Whistle and narrowly missed the post.  
  • Another reason for the lower scoring affair was the lack of quality chances by the dynamic duo of Nick Merkley and Rourke Chartier. Both players had an off night, and frankly, are they not allowed to have a free pass from leading the charge every once in a while? The tough part for the Rockets is a lack of secondary scoring right now. Cole Linaker has 1 goal in his last 11. Rookie Tate Coghlan hasn't scored in 23 games and Tyson Baillie has one goal in his last 7 games. Kris Schmidli has one goal in his last 8 and Tomas Soustal has no goals in his last 9 games. Granted, these players, outside of Baillie, won't score on a consistent basis but the team needs someone chip in offensively more often. Being a one trick pony offensively with Chartier and Merkley leading the charge is flirting with danger.    
  • I thought Raiders overager Colton Heffley had a strong game against his old team. It couldn't have been easy playing against so many familar faces after being traded earlier in the week. Heffley played defence with partner Josh Morrissey and had no less than three shots on goal. The 20 year-old was noticeable upon his return to Prospera Place and was featured in the starting line up thanks to Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid. 
  • The loss snapped the Raiders 7 game road winning streak.
  • When was the last time the Rockets earned a 1-0 win on home ice? It was March 12/2011 when Adam Brown made 33 saves in a win over Kamloops. There was no score through 65 minutes. The game had to be settled in a shootout.
  • The Rockets now prepare for a five game road trip next week which will see them play in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. The trip opens Wednesday in Lethbridge and consists of 5 games in 8 night's. 

1 comment:

g.k said...

So Regan with only 2 overage players do you think the Rockets are working on a deal for a another goal scorer, say maybe Reinhart from Kootenay, he would be a great addition for this team. I still don't agree with keeping Hefley over Rigby. Look where that got us.