Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Morrissey scores game winner

Shoot the Breeze Photography
  • Kelowna Rockets fans were waiting to see it. They finally got a firsthand look at how deadly a combination Leon Draisaitl and long time teammate Josh Morrissey can be. The two 19 year-olds hooked up on the game winning goal leading the Rockets to a 5-2 home ice win last night over the Prince George Cougars. Draisaitl skated inside the Cougars zone on right wing and niftily saucered a pass on the tape of Morrissey who was skating hard towards the net. All Morrissey had to do was put his stick down, allowing the puck to hit it before it went straight through Cougars goaltender Ty Edmonds legs. The goal 8 minutes into the third period broke a 2-2 tie. 
  • The Rockets dominated the opening period by out-shooting the Cougars 15-3. Prince George couldn't get anything going despite having the first three power plays of the game. Instead, the Rockets had the better scoring chances shorthanded, and had it not been for Cougars goalie Ty Edmonds, the Rockets could have been up by three or four goals after the opening 20 minutes. 
  • It looked like the Rockets were heading to the dressing room with a 2-0 first period lead. Leon Draisaitl knocked a puck out of mid air with his stick at the side of the Cougars goal but it was waved off on a high stick. In my opinion, video review showed Draisaitl's stick was not above the cross bar when he struck the puck. If anything it was at cross bar level or lower. After a significant delay, the call on the ice stood and the game remained 1-0. 
  • Despite a lack of work, Rockets starting goaltender Jake Morrissey had a strong effort. The 17 year-old made a massive glove hand save in the second period when his team was up 2-0. Morrissey showed some acrobatics in facing 24 shots and was steady in the three goal win. 
  • I sure liked the play of Lucas Johansen. I thought the rookie d-man showed some nice offensive flair in the second period and set up Rourke Chartier for what appeared to be a tap in but the leading goal scorer worked it wide. I think Johansen has good instincts offensively but rarely used it. It likely comes with added confidence and a greater understanding of the junior game. 
  • Tyrell Goulbourne had a great chance to find the back of the net in the third period. The 20 year-old was set up wonderfully by Leon Draisaitl but sent the puck high to the left corner of the net where Ty Edmonds deflected it wide with a nice blocker save. 
  • The win enabled the Rockets to leapfrog over the Brandon Wheat Kings and back into sole possession of first place in the WHL standings. The Rockets have played one fewer game and will make that up tonight when they visit the Seattle Thunderbirds. 

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