Sunday, December 6, 2015

Bears, be aware of Dube!!

Teddy Bear Toss Night - Shoot the Breeze Photography
  • Be aware of bears. Or should the sign read - 'Bear's beware of Dube'? For a second consecutive season, the 17 year-old forward fired home the 'Teddy Bear Toss' goal in the Kelowna Rockets 4-2 win Saturday night over the visiting Portland Winterhawks. Dube's one timer from the right face-off circle opened the scoring with 8 seconds left in the first period, prompting the crowd of 53 hundred to begin throwing stuffed toys on the ice. Dube wasn't done there though. The draft eligible player scored his second goal of the game, the game winner in fact, at the midway point of the second period when he found himself alone in front of the Winterhawks net. Despite fanning on the shot, it squeaked through the legs of Portland goaltender Adin Hills legs to give the home team a 3-1 lead. Joe Gatenby would provide some insurance in the third period as the Rockets won their 8th straight game on home ice.
  • It was Dube's fourth - two goal game this season. It also snapped an 8 game goalless drought.
  • Speaking of players that were duo to score, Joe Gatenby would fall into that category. Gatenby scored his first goal of the season with a blue line blast in the third period. It was Gatenby's first goal in 43 regular season games dating back to last season. Gatenby's last goal prior to last night came against Kamloops back on February 18th of last season.
  • Jackson Whistle earned his 83rd career win, moving into a tie with Kelly Guard for second place all-time with wins as a Kelowna Rockets goaltender. Whistle has 84 career wins, but one of them came as a member of the Vancouver Giants before being traded to the Rockets for a third round draft pick. Whistle is now 9 wins shy of tying Jordan Cooke for first place - all time - in wins by a Kelowna Rockets goalie. Undoubtedly, Whistle could hit the 100 win plateau by seasons end. How impressive would that be? The WHL record book does not keep track of most wins in a career by a goaltender.   
  • WHL goalies that come to mind that have had winning careers with the same team include Tyson Sexsmith (120 wins with Vancouver) and Mac Carruth (117 wins with Portland). Tristan Jarry (93 wins), Calvin Pickard (91 wins with Seattle) and Eric Comrie (85 wins) are also good examples of winning games with the same franchise.
  • Tyson Baillie had his 9 game point streak snapped against the Winterhawks. The WHL leading scorer missed a golden opportunity in the second period on a two-on-none breakaway with Dillon Dube. Dube elected to pass to Baillie who fired the puck into the left pad of Hill.
  • Best player on the ice for the Winterhawks was Caleb Jones. I thought the Edmonton Oilers 4th rounder got better as the game went along. I didn't notice him much in the first period but did he ever play well in the second and the third. Terrific player with the puck.  
  • The Rockets conclude a three game home stand winning all three games and out-scoring the opposition 13-5. The team now has 12 wins on home ice this season and own the best record in the WHL with 22 wins in 29 games.  The Rockets have the third most wins in the entire CHL. Only Erie (25) and Rouyn-Noranda (23) have more victories. 
  • The Rockets 8 game winning streak at home is the second longest in the WHL this season. Seattle had a 9 game home ice winning streak snapped November 28th with an overtime loss to Moose Jaw. The T-Birds haven't lost in regulation time on home ice this season (10-0-1-0). The Rockets longest winning streak at home last season was 9 games. 
  • Up next? A six game road trip through the Eastern Division. More on that in a future blog entry. 

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