Saturday, November 11, 2017

Twarynski overtime hero again!

Shoot the Breeze Photography

  • Big is better. Carsen Twarynski proved it Friday night in a 5-4 overtime victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants. The 20 year-old out-battled Giants forward Tyler Benson for body positioning on a loose puck at the Rockets blue-line, sent it forward to teammate Cal Foote who returned the favour with a quick pass to Twarynski on a two-on-one for the game winning goal. It marked the second time this season the Philadephia Flyers third round pick has scored in dramatic fashion after playing the role of hero in overtime against the Tri City Americans on October 27th.  Kole Lind, Gordie Ballhorn, Leif Mattson and Connor Bruggen-Cate scored in a game that had both teams turning over the puck on several occasions. Both coaches must have been pulling their hair out at games end, but it was a terrific game from an entertainment perspective with pretty goals and sensational saves. 
  • Twarynski has as many goals (10) than he had with the Rockets all of last season. Yep, Twarynski had 10 goals in 36 games after being acquired a season ago from the Calgary Hitmen. After 15 games this season he has found the back of the net 10 times.  
  • The Vancouver Giants power play entered the weekend as the worst unit in the WHL. It sure didn't look like it Friday night striking three times. It came up extremely large when Rockets forward Dillon Dube took a ill advised penalty with about 7 minutes left in the third period with his team clinging to a 4-3 lead. Tyler Benson would score the tying goal, setting the stage for overtime.
  • Kole Lind's shorthanded goal was a beauty. The effort was incredible. Skating wide on a defender and then cutting towards the net, the puck went harmlessly off his stick towards the goaltender. But back pressure from an opposition forward had the puck go off the Giants player and trickle into the net. It was Lind's 10th goal of the season and the teams second shorthanded goal this season. Lind now has a 5 game point streak (2+4=6).
  • Leif Mattson just keeps scoring. The second year forward has goals in 6 of his last 7 games and has scored 6 of his goals on only 17 shots. 
  • It was nice to see Connor Bruggen-Cate find the back of the net. It was his first in 12 games.   
  • Often disappointed with Tyler Benson's play, this was the best game I have ever seen him play at the WHL level. Often injured, the 19 year-old  may have been the best forward for both teams on the ice and showed flashes why he was so highly regarded heading into the 2013 WHL bantam draft. Benson put on a board battling clinic in the second period and scored twice with two quick goals that saw the puck leave his stick in a flash. I thought he was simply terrific for a player who, up until last night, I had honestly lost faith in as a marquee player. On this night, Benson proved he has game!!  
  • The game featured two American goalies going toe-to-toe. The Rockets started Idaho born James Porter against Giants netminder, and Minnesota born Todd Scott. It marked the first time American born goalies had met on Prospera Place ice since Adam Brown (California) met Mac Carruth (Minnesota) when the Kelowna Rockets faced the Portland Winterhawks in the 2012 playoffs. 
  • For those wondering, the Rockets have been to overtime in three of their last 6 games. The Rockets are 4 and 2 in extra time. 
  • The Rockets have played 9 - one goal games this season. The team is 4-2-2-1 in one goal games.
  • The Rockets have won 4 straight games on home ice. The last loss at Prospera Place was 3-1 to the Portland Winterhawks on October 20th.
  • Rookie goaltender James Porter is 6-2-2-0 on the season. The 17 year-old has not lost in regulation time in his last six starts.  
  • I like to see the coaches using Liam Kindree on the second power play unit. They need to get him going. A skilled player, the confidence isn't there right now, so lets hope he can get it back. Kindree had two assists with both coming with the extra man.
  • Up next the Rockets play host to the Red Deer Rebels Saturday night. The Rockets visit the Rebels on January 27th. 

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