Saturday, February 28, 2015

Herringer proving he can play

  • It will go down as the best 1,000 dollars the Kelowna Rockets spent this season. The Rockets claimed the playing rights of then 18 year-old goaltender Michael Herringer off waivers from the Saskatoon Blades in late September. The Blades, who sit dead last in the WHL standings, didn't think Herringer was good enough to play in the league. There goes that theory. The Comox, BC resident has proved without a shadow of a doubt he can at this elite level with each start. Last night in Vancouver, Herringer was especially sharp early in the game when his team wasn't in a 4-0 win. It was Herringer's second shutout of his young junior career. The now 19 year-old; he turned 19 last month, has received four consecutive starts with Jackson Whistle sidelined after undergoing appendix surgery. 
  • For a second straight game, a slow start for the Rockets. The Giants, who are playing for their playoff lives, had sustained pressure and Herringer was at his best with several solid stops. It wasn't until Vancouver forward Jackson Houck took a double minor for butt ending that the Rockets opening the scoring on a nice-one time blast from Leon Driasaitl. Escaping with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, the Rockets appeared to get better while the Giants simply couldn't match or exceed the urgency they showed early in the game.
  • Gage Quinney had a career game with a three point effort. His pass to Driasaitl at the right face-off circle while stationed at the left face-off dot was impressive. The 19 year-old has been the biggest surprise in all of the trading the team completed with the PA Raiders. I honestly knew nothing about him. If you said he played on Mars, I would have believed you. Quinney is showing great chemistry playing on a line with Dillon Dube and Tyson Baillie.
  • The Rockets earned their 100th point of the season, marking the third straight season they have hit that mark. With ten games left to go, 20 points are still up for grabs. The franchise record is 118 points set last season.    
  • There sure is a lot of hype around Vancouver Giants rookie Tyler Benson. Without question Benson is a solid 16 year-old player, but isn't Rockets forward Dillon Dube equally as good? You could argue that Dube has a better supporting cast, but the team's first round pick is clearly elite. 
  • The Rockets played this game without Rourke Chartier, Josh Morrissey, Tomas Soustal and Justin Kirkland. That meant affiliated player Alex Uryga was called up eat up some minutes. 
  • The good news on the injury front is Jackson Whistle backed up Herringer last night. What that means is the 19 year-old is pretty much ready to return to the line up as early as tonight against the visiting Calgary Hitmen.

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