Monday, April 27, 2015

An off day in Portland well spent

Never a bad day in Portland

  • What a beautiful day in Portland. Sunny skies and warm temperature that hit 27 degrees welcomed the Kelowna Rockets on an off day in the Western Conference final. The team elected to leave for the Oregon city on Sunday, making the 8 and a half hour bus trip before getting the travel buzz out of their heads a full 48 hours before game three begins. The team had a quick workout at Memorial Coliseum in the afternoon before enjoying the rest of the day.
  • I always like talking/interviewing Josh Morrissey. The 20 year-old is so well spoken. I liked his comment about his play in the first two games of this series, where frankly, we haven't seen him play at the optimum level. "Overall, as a team, we didn't have our best games, but we are going to step up and get our best game going over the next couple of night's".  
  • It was nice to see forward Tanner Wishnowski wearing a different coloured uniform at practice in Portland today. The 18 year-old has been wearing a yellow jersey which means he wasn't taking contact. The blue jersey he was wearing today means he is good to take a bump or two. It has been a long road for the former Okanagan Rockets forward, who has missed the entire season with an upper body injury.
  • This series is made for Tyrell Goulbourne. The 21 year-old, on the final leg of his junior hockey career, can skate. This is a skating man's series. Goulbourne is not slow afoot. The Edmonton product is do for a goal, having been unable to find the back of the net in this years playoffs. I suspect he makes an impact in game three tomorrow. A goal would be nice but being hard to play against would be equally as affective.
  • Gage Quinney's father Keith will be watching game three of this playoff series. Keith Quinney flew in from Las Vegas on Monday. Gage tells me his father has never seen him play at WHL game in person. Keith Quinney is a former teammate of head coach Dan Lambert's. 
  • In game three in last years Western Conference final in Portland, the Winterhawks earned a 4-3 overtime win. That essentially turned the series in the Winterhawks favour after the team's split the first two games in Kelowna. Taylor Leier scored the game winning goal. Jordon Cooke was named the third star as he was peppered with 65 shots.
  • Much like the Vancouver Canucks crashing to earth is good business for the Kelowna Rockets come playoff time, the same can be said for the demise of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. The Portland Winterhawks become more of a focal point if the Trail Blazers season comes to an end in late April. 
  • The last time the Rockets played at Moda Center, Jackson Whistle was named the second star with a 36 save performance in a 3-2 overtime loss.
  • Rookie Devante Stephens should like the Moda Center. The 17 year-old scored his first career goal in that building on November 1st. It would be a long wait for his next one - 33 games in fact. 

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