Saturday, March 21, 2015

Finally an overtime win

Leon Draisaitl's one timer ties the game at three 

  • Need a big goal? Leon Draisaitl is your man. The 19 year-old forward found the back of the net on a 'must score' power play late in the third period to tie the game at three. Draisaitl then went out and assisted on the game winner in overtime in the Kelowna Rockets 4-3 win last night in Vancouver. Draisaitl didn't have a dominant game, much like his teammates, but he came through in the clutch when his team needed him most. At the end of the night, the German forward was in on every goal the Rockets scored with a goal and three assists. It may be the quietest four point effort of his WHL career? But again, with the game on the line Draisaitl didn't cower or fade. The great players elevate or rise to the occasion. The Oilers first round draft pick did just that. 
  • Madison Bowey can shoot the puck. If he had any doubters, the 11 thousand fans at Pacific Coliseum last night are now believers. The 19 year-old blasted a hard slap shot from just inside the blue-line on the power play for the game winning goal. The Rockets made it look easy. Rourke Chartier won the draw and got the puck back to Bowey. Bowey allowed Draisaitl to take it, stick handle with it for five seconds before sending it back into Bowey's wheelhouse for the one time blast. The goal took just eleven seconds to generate.
  • The good news? The Rockets power play scored three times on five chances. The bad news? The penalty killing unit gave up two power play goals of their own. 
  • Did the Rockets dominate this game? Not even close. The Giants had significant territorial time and often had a stronger battle level than the visitors. Vancouver has a horrible time generate offense and so that is where the two teams are separated by a wide margin. 
  • I thought the Goulbourne, Merkley, Chartier line really struggled. Usually they make an impact. All three looked out of sync in this game.
  • The one positive I can take out of the win was the ability to battle back after surrendering an ugly goal which gave the G-Men a 3-2 third period lead. Goaltender Michael Herringer and defenceman Lucas Johansen got their wires crossed up at the side of the net, the puck squeezed loose from Herringer's glove and 15 year-old Giants rookie forward Dawson Holt got the 'Merry Christmas' gift.   
  • The overtime win snapped a five game overtime losing streak for the Rockets. Overtime has not been kind this season for the Western Conference leaders. Kelowna is now 2 and 5 when playing after 60 minutes. 
  • The Rockets won for the 27th time on the road, which is the second best total in franchise history behind only the franchise record/WHL record 29 road wins they had last season.
  • The team scored four goals last night, with Bowey's game winner being the 300th goal the team has scored this season. It marks only the second time in Kelowna Rockets franchise history the team has manufactured 300 or more goals in back to back seasons. Only the Brandon Wheat Kings have scored more times than the Rockets this season.
  • The differential is two. The Rockets trail the Wheat Kings by two points for first place in the WHL standings with one game left to be played for both teams. The Rockets must beat Vancouver again tonight and Brandon must lose in regulation time to visiting Moose Jaw. That is the only way the Rockets can claim their second straight Scotty Munro Trophy.     

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