Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cal Foote - the complete player

Cal Foote - Shoot the Breeze Photography
  • Cal Foote came back from the world junior hockey championships a complete player. The 19 year-old team captain of the Kelowna Rockets didn't wow the national media while wearing Canadian colours, but the first round NHL draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning is showing off his offensive flair following the gold medal performance in Buffalo. Foote scored his career high 11th goal of the season and collected two assists in a 5-2 win last night over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. In what felt like a rare home game at Prospera Place after two trips to Alberta in the month of January, Foote extended his point streak to 7 games (4+6=10). Foote, who never, never, gets beat one-on-one, has points in 12 of his last 13 games and has been instrumental in leading his team to first place in the BC Division, with a four point lead on second place Victoria.
  • Kole Lind extended his point streak to 19 games with a goal and an assist. The streak started back on December 9th in Brandon. With goals in 5 straight, the 19 year-old now has 199 career points and is top 10 in WHL scoring. The team record is a 24 game point streak set by Brett McLean in the mid 90's.  
  • The Rockets power play was terrific. While striking twice on five chances, it was locked in with pin-point passing as the five man unit of Dillon Dube, Carsen Twarynski, Kole Lind and Cal and Nolan Foote were all on the same page. Dube ended the game with three points (1+2=3) and extended his point streak to 12 games. Dube has 10+13=23 over that period.
  • The Rockets have wins in 17 of their last 18 homes games. The Rockets have 18 home ice wins. Moose Jaw and Swift Current each have 20 home ice victories.
  • Brodan Salmond earned the win in goal. Salmond, coming off a significant injury, earned his third win since coming back into the lineup January 17th. Salmond made 31 saves and was named the third star in the Rockets carousel of goalies that can only be exceeded this season by the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights. 
  • If you told me at the start of the season that Leif Mattson would score in the neighborhood of 20 goals, I would have shook my head and told you to keep dreaming. The second year forward has 18 goals, fourth most on the team. FOURTH!!  
  • If you would have told me that Connor Bruggen-Cate would have more goals than Nolan Foote, I would have told you to take a long walk. Bruggen-Cate has 14 goals on 36 fewer shots on net. Nolan Foote has 12 goals this season after scoring 19 as a rookie.
  • The Rockets lost 20 year-old defenceman James Hilsendager after receiving a high hit from Tigers forward Ryan Chyzowski. It happened in the neutral zone  and I honestly didn't get a good look at it. The officials did and handed out a five minute major. The WHL takes head shots very seriously, so a suspension is likely coming Chyzowski's way.    
  • The Rockets ended the month of January with a record of 9-3-1-0 in 13 games. The only blemishes were losses to Seattle (twice), Vancouver, and an overtime setback to Red Deer when the team was playing their third game in four nights on an Alberta road trip last week,
  • Good luck to my colleague Kent Simpson as he heads overseas to do some work for the BBC. Yes, the British Broadcast Corporation. Simpson will be doing colour commentary for men's hockey at the Winter Olympics. The BBC has decided that rather than bring its broadcast crew to PyeongChang, Korea, they will broadcast the games by remote in London. Simpson will be working all of the men's games from the BBC studios. While Simpson will be absent from our AM 1150 broadcasts for the next month, Gord McGarva will elevate his play and will join me for a February which features 8 home games.    

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