Saturday, October 15, 2016

Out-shoot but can't out-score

Kole Lind - Shoot the Breeze Photography
  • The Kelowna Rockets shouldn't hang their heads after Friday night's 4-2 home ice loss to the Saskatoon Blades. They fired 38 shots on goal. The allowed only 17 towards starter Brody Salmond. Sure, at the end of the day is was the teams 6th setback in 9 attempts, but they deserved a better fate. But when wins are hard to come by, the mistakes are magnified. Penalties, even if they are few and far between, can be costly if they are taken at inopportune times. The Blades scored twice on the power play while the Rockets were snuffed out on just two extra man chances. 
  • Kole Lind scored twice in the loss and could have recorded his first career hat-trick had the Hockey God's been shining brightly upon him. With the goaltender pulled and the Blades clinging to a one goal lead, Lind found the puck on his stick in a grade 'A' scoring area with net to shoot at and Saskatoon goaltender Logan Flodell unsure where the puck was during the goal mouth scramble. Lind fired the puck towards the net but it hit the post and stayed out. Moments later, Blades leading scorer Mason McCarty won a border battle at centre ice, and on his knees, fired a puck towards an empty net to make the score 4-2. Hockey is truly a game of inches. The Rockets were an inch away from, in a worse case scenario, earning a point. 
  • The game marked the debut of 17 year-old Leif Mattson. Acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings last week, Mattson showed some offensive flair and a willingness to make body contact. I thought he had an excellent debut with his new team. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised at what I saw.
  • Nolan Foote is starting to find traction in his game. The rookie 16 year-old is making some nice plays and earned his first career point, an assist, in last night's loss. Foote could have had another helper, when in the second period, he fired a quick snap shot on goal from a sharp angle that Blades goaltender Logan Flodell handled. Flodell couldn't contain the rebound that teammate Lucas Johansen almost converted on with an in tight scoring chance. Foote, the younger brother of Cal, has a real nice release and will use it more as his confidence with the puck builds.  

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