Thursday, February 26, 2015

Braid terrific. Goulbourne equally good in home ice win

Chance Braid - Shoot the Breeze Photo

  • Chance Braid was excellent. Tyrell Goulbourne was darn good too. The two overage players made a massive impact in the Kelowna Rockets 4-2 win Wednesday night at Prospera Place. Braid, who should have been named the games first star, fought and dominated a tilt with Victoria Royals designated tough guy Taylor Crunk and then went out and scored a power play in the come-from-behind win. Braid also hit a goal post in the third period and was a key in the game winning goal from Leon Draisailt in the third period. On the game winner, Braid took Royals defenceman Travis Brown off the puck behind the Victoria net by sending him to the ice. Teammate Nick Merkley retrieved it, skated behind the net before locating Draisaitl in front to make the score 3-2. At the end of the game, Braid received the second star in the building but was one of the main reason why the Rockets were able to rally back with four unanswered goals.
  • I mentioned Goulbourne's strong play because he was a constant throughout the entire game when it came to initiating body contact. It was Goulbourne's great board battle work in the second period that resulted in Madison Bowey eventually making it a one goal game. Goulbourne's exploits in the second period was the best shift of the game. I thought the overage forward was extremely quiet in back-to-back games in Victoria on the weekend but played a significant factor in the teams 47th win of the season.
  • Michael Herringer didn't get much love in the three star selection at games end, but the rookie netminder was solid, specifically early in the game when his team was down and out flat. Herringer was the only reason his team trailed 2-0 after the opening period. I thought the three stars in the game should have been; Braid #1, Herringer #2 and Goulbourne #3. Neither of the three will care but the game was clearly won in the second period thanks to Braid and Goulbourne's exploits and the steady play of Herringer.
  • The last time the Rockets were down 2-0 after the first period of play was against Seattle back on January 16th. In that game the Rockets would lose 5-2 on home ice.
  • Tyson Baillie would extend his point streak to nine games with a shorthanded goal to make the score 4-2. Baillie received a pass from Rodney Southam at centre ice and skated in on a breakaway, beating Royals goaltender Justin Paulic with a nice deke to the forehand. It was the teams 14th shorthanded goal of the season. The penalty killing unit was outstanding going 7 for 7.     
  • I thought Devante Stephens had a great back on defense. The rookie wasn't without his share of errors, but made solid plays to break up odd man rushes and his skating speed is such a factor out there. Is he not the most improved player from the start of the season? This guy has come miles from day one when not many expected him to even make the team. 
  • The Rockets played this one without Rourke Chartier, Justin Kirkland, Tomas Soustal and Jackson Whistle. Those are four significant regulars out of the line up. 
  • The Rockets are now 5-1-1-0 in the eight game seasonal series against the Royals. It all comes to a close March 11th when the two teams face-off again at Prospera Place.
  • The win kept the Rockets two points up on Brandon for first place in the WHL standings with 11 games left in the regular season.  
  • The Rockets are riding an 8 game winning streak on home ice after Wednesday's win. The longest winning streak of the season at Prospera Place was nine games between September 20th and November 8th.  
  • Royals head coach Dave Lowry coached his 300th game. 

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