Sunday, November 1, 2015

Two-third period goals lift Rocket to 10th win

Shoot the Breeze Photography

  • The Kelowna Rockets avoided a two game losing streak Saturday night while handing the Lethbridge Hurricanes their first two game slide of the season. Goals from Dillon Dube and Tyson Baillie in the third period broke a 3-3 tie, leading the Rockets to a 5-3 home ice win. Following the script of playing a game on Halloween, this game was scary for the Rockets, who built up a 3-0 lead only to see the Hurricanes score three unanswered goals to tie the game. With the Hurricanes pressing, Dube beat Lethbridge goaltender Jayden Sittler with a wrist shot that saw the puck go through the net. Play continued until a stoppage where video evidence showed that Dube's shot, did in fact, beat Sittler and went through the netting.  
  • Both officials on the ice had a chance to review Dube's goal after play was stopped after Kole Lind had scored on the same sequence. As the rule stands, the disputed goal counts (Dube's) while Lind's does not. The time when Dube scored will also be added to the clock. I will admit to being confused myself in the broadcast booth as this has never happened in a game I've called. Live and learn.
  • Overall, a much improved effort from the Rockets than a night earlier in a 2-1 home ice loss to the Prince George Cougars. Key players stepped up which makes a dramatic difference with several veteran players out with injuries. Nick Merkley, named the first star, had a goal and an assist. Tyson Baillie had a goal and two helpers and Dillon Dube had a goal and two assist. Without Rourke Chartier, Riley Stadel, Tanner Wishnowski and Tomas Soustal out with injuries, the best players indeed had to show up to play. Mission accomplished.
  • Michael Herringer had another solid start in goal. While he allowed three, one came off a breakaway from 20 year-old Hurricanes forward Cory Millette and then the veteran forward fired a puck from behind the net that hit Herringer in the back of the leg and found its way in.
  • I can see why teams don't like to play games on Halloween. Only four were scheduled across the league with two of them in the afternoon. Last night's paid attendance was just under 44 hundred, but the crowd was much smaller than that. In fact, it looked like a game from 2000-2001 when I first arrived in Kelowna.  Several large sections of empty blue seats were visible from up on the broadcast booth. The Rockets traditionally don't like to play Sunday games, but that may have been a better option with Halloween falling on a Saturday and trick-or-treaters more interested in candy than spending time watching hockey.   
  • It was the Rockets 10th win of the season.  They are the first team in the Western Conference to reach that mark. The win also moved the Rockets into sole possession of first place, a single point up on Victoria with both team's having played 15 games.
  • Up next is essentially an entire week on the road on a U.S Division road trip. The team leaves for Tri City on Monday and play the Americans Tuesday night. From there it is a three and a half hour drive to Portland for back-to-back games Friday and Saturday night.  
  • The month of November will be a busy one. The team plays 11 games in 25 days. Of those 11 games, seven are on the road. 

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