Saturday, February 13, 2016

Chartier takes no offense to snub on 3 star selection

Rourke Chartier - Shoot the Breeze Photo
  • It isn't often that a player scores three goals in one game and is left off the three star selection when the buzzer sounds. It happened last night in Prince George in the Kelowna Rockets 4-3 overtime win. Chartier scored the equalizing goal in the second period to tie the game at two. The 19 year-old would then score the dramatic tying goal with 1:10 left in the third period with Michael Herringer pulled for the extra attacker. Then in overtime, Chartier would receive a pass from Tyson Baillie, who won a puck battle in the corner and calmly out waited Cougars goalie Nick McBride before tucking it past him for the game winner. Chartier was more concerned with hitting the score-sheet and helping his team win then taking the ceremonial skate after the game to the expected boos from the Prince George Cougars crowd. Chartier is rolling. With 17 goals in just 26 games this season, Chartier has two hat tricks in three games after a similar effort, yet not as dramatic, in a home ice win against the Seattle Thunderbirds.  
  • For the record, the three stars balloting in Prince George is handed in with five minutes left in regulation time. That said, with modern technology, a quick text could have changed the three star recipients in the blink of an eye. I've never taken much value away from three star selections at games end anyway. It is mainly to appease the home town fans. One ECHL team, as an example, hands out all three stars to the home team win or lose.   
  • Chartier's first goal of the games was the 100th of his career. The San Jose Sharks draft pick, who is as close to a pure goal scorer as you will find in the WHL, has three-three goal games this season. The last Rockets forward to record three-three goal games in a season was Jamie Benn back in 2008-2009. Oh ya, Benn also wore sweater number 14. 
  • All three goals that Chartier scored can't be understated. The first one came only :24 seconds after the Cougars took their first lead of the game at 2-1. Those goals are valuable in the big scheme of things when you strike quickly after the opposition appears to be taking momentum away. 
  • Chartier, on his current pace, would have 37 goals right now if he would have played in all 56 games this season. 
  • Chartier had 28 goals in 26 games last season. As previously mentioned, Chartier has 17 goals in 26 games this year.
  • I thought Michael Herringer was again solid when his team needed him most. Named the game's second star, Herringer made 17 saves in the first period and was one of the key reasons why his team was in a position to succeed in a 2-2 tie heading into the third period.  Herringer finished the game with 43 saves on 46 shots, the most pucks he has faced in one game this season. The 46 shots allowed was a season high, surpassing the 44 given up to the Kamloops Blazers back in September when Jackson Whistle was in goal.
  • A fairly tame game for both teams who have a propensity in taking penalties. The Cougars have taken the most trips to the penalty box and the Rockets have taken the fourth most minor penalties. That said, the Rockets took only two minors and the Cougars made four trips to the box for non-aggressive infractions. 
  • The Rockets will take the win on the road. With 6 losses in their last 8 road games heading into Prince George, it was nice to see the team score after being shut-out the previous two games in Seattle. The power play manufactured a power play goal on a 5 on 3 in the first period and as I mentioned, the team didn't have any quit despite trailing by a goal on two separate occasions.
  • Tanner Wishnowski and Joe Gatenby returned to the line up after both players missed a significant amount of time with lower body injuries. Gatenby was getting back to game speed and Wishnowski delivered a hard hit on Cougars d-man Shaun Dosanjh early in the first period that sent the 19 year-old crashing into the side boards. 
  • The two team's meet again tonight at CN Centre. Only one team has come into Prince George this season and has won both games of the double header. The Vancouver Giants did it January 2nd and 3rd. 

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