The opinions of a Western Hockey League radio broadcaster
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Shut out again!
Ty Edmonds - Shoot the Breeze Photography
Ty Edmonds took a huge step in solidifying his spot as the Prince George Cougars number one goaltender. The 19 year-old made 35 saves in a 3-0 shutout win last night over the Kelowna Rockets. Edmonds saved his best work for the third period when he made several solid stops including two desperation saves on Rockets forward Kole Lind. For his efforts, Edmonds was named the first star. The third period was without a doubt the Rockets best, firing 15 shots at the Cougars net. Several of those quality scoring chances came courtesy of two power play opportunities.
While Edmonds was solid in the third period specifically, his counterpart, Jackson Whistle at the other end was equally sharp. Whistle made several big saves in the first period to keep the score 1-0. While I didn't like the opening goal Whistle surrendered from Cougars rookie forward Bartek Bison, you have to look at the grade 'A' scoring chances that he faced and the stops he made to give his team a fighting chance.
While the Rockets generated 35 shots at the Cougars net, the number may be a little misleading. In the second period, where Edmonds faced only 8 shots, the only quality opportunity came from forward Cole Linaker. One scoring chance in a 20 minute period simply isn't good enough.
The Rockets have been shut out in two of their last three games. I wouldn't have bet at the start of the season that this team would have struggle scoring. I honestly don't think they have problems scoring if they play the right way. The right way is a far cry from how the team played a season ago when, with an elite skill level both among the forwards and the defenceman, they could dictate the play and tempo of the game towards an opponent. That was last season. This is a new year with many of the same players but nowhere near the same skill set.
The Rockets were shut out three times in the 2012-2013 season when they failed to find the net three times on the road, with losses in Portland (1-0), Spokane (5-0) and Kamloops (3-0).
Rookie Cal Foote earned his first career WHL fighting major when he got involved in a first period scuffle with Cougars forward Colby McAuley.
The good news is the Rockets get back in the saddle again tonight against this same Cougars team. Look for Michael Herringer to get the start in goal after Whistle has played in five consecutive games.