Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Home winning streak reaches 6 games

Shoot the Breeze Photography
  • The Kelowna Rockets are making hay during a four game home stand. Dillon Dube and Carsen Twarynski each scored twice in a 5-2 win over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings last night. The Rockets are now 3-0-0-0 with wins over Vancouver, Red Deer and Edmonton. In those three games, the Rockets have out-scored the opponent 15-8. Tuesday's victory against the worst team in the WHL didn't come easy though. After scoring the opening two goals with relative ease, it appeared the home team took their foot off the accelerator as the Oil Kings battled back. With a slim 3-2 lead heading into the third period, Twarynski sealed it with his 11th goal of the season on a nice setup from Dube, before scoring an empty netter in the teams 11th win of the season.
  • Scoring two goals in the first 4:22 of the game can't but put a smile on Jason Smith's face, but the way it all went down had to give his team a false sense of security. I felt it up in the broadcast booth. Would it be another blowout win, reminiscent of a 10-1 drubbing of the Oil Kings last season? Edmonton head coach Steve Hamilton calling a timeout which appeared to work in his teams favour. The Oil Kings scored a power play goal and the game was evenly played after that point. 
  • Liam Kindree was the most assertive I've seen in his short time in a Rockets uniform. I thought he was effective on the fore-check, collected two assists and extended his point streak to four games playing on a line with Twarynski and Dube. My only complaint is he isn't selfish enough and I would like him to shoot the puck more often. With not a single shot taken in last night's win, a greedier mindset will serve him well as he takes full advantage of the promotion into the teams top 6 forwards.
  • James Hilsendager played in his 200th career game and again showed his value. With Oil Kings forward Ty Gerla attempting to goat Kole Lind into a fight, Hilsendager stood curiously by and then engaged with Gerla in the lopsided tilt. Lind could have handled the situation himself, but I still like the old school mentality of Hilsendager watching the back of a teammate. Lind is the teams leading scorer, so does he really need to waste his time trading punches with Gerla who has 8 career goals? Lind should only be fighting on his own terms. It may sound like a one way street, but only trade punches with someone who is in your same skill set. Had he danced with Trey Fix-Walansky, I'm fine with that.
  • Dube is quietly going about his business, recording a point in 6 of his last 8 games. 
  • I thought rookie forward Marek Skrvne has a solid game. Recording his first WHL point with an assist on Carsen Twarynski's empty net goal, the 17 year-old was 9 for 9 at the face-off circle and was doing his best to make an impact playing on the fourth line.
  • The crazy stat of the night. The Oil Kings allow the most goals in the WHL, yet, on average, they allow the lowest number of shots on goal per game. Last night the Rockets managed 32 shots on Edmonton starter Travis Child.
  • Kole Lind extended his point streak to 7 games with an assist. Lind's longest point streak is 8 games when he started the season on fire before failing to hit the score-sheet against the Portland Winterhawks in a 8-2 loss in Portland on October 15th.
  • The Rockets 5-2 win combined with the Red Deer Rebels 5-3 victory in Victoria, closed the gap to just four points between the BC Division rivals with the Rockets holding two games in hand.
  • The Rockets wrap up the 4 game home stand Friday against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. Like the Rebels and Oil Kings, the Hurricanes make a return visit on January 17th before the Rockets pay a visit to the southern Alberta community on January 24th. 

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