Monday, February 11, 2013

Character win to end tough stretch

  • It was character check time for the Kelowna Rockets Sunday afternoon in Everett. After two emotional losses against the Portland Winterhawks to start the weekend, the Rockets were playing their 4th game in 5 nights on the road against the Everett Silvertips. Riding an unfamiliar three game losing streak and likely emotionally and physically drained, the Rockets earned a hard fought 3-2 win. Not surprisingly the teams’ top players were leading the charge with Colton Sissons and Ryan Olsen scoring power play goals while leading point man Myles Bell chipped in with three assists.  Jackson Whistle was sensational with several solid stops in the Rockets 41st win of the season.
  • The Rockets built up a 3-0 first period lead courtesy of two-five on three opportunities. Sissons opened the scoring before the captain located Ryan Olsen with a picture perfect redirect pass in front of the Tips net to make the score 2-0. J.T Barnett would score against his old team even strength to close out the period.
  • While the Tips scored two power play goals in the second period, they could have gone into the third in a 3-3 tie. Twenty year-old Ryan Harrison was awarded a penalty shot that Whistle stopped to keep his team in the lead by one.  
  • Sissons has goals in three straight games. What does that say about his value and consistency?  The captain now has points in 26 of his last 28 games and is now third in team scoring, just five points back of Zach Franko.  
  • Olsen’s goal was the 50th of his career and 28th of the season.
  • Barnett’s goal was his second in three games.
  • Jackson Whistle is really coming into his own as a top notch goaltender. The 17 year-old is lightning quick, especially down low. His battle level and never give up on plays attitude is impressive. Whistle's best stop would have made Dominik Hasek proud. Whistle lost his stick on a third period goal mouth scramble, and on his knees, desperately rolled to his back to make an arm save denying the Silvertips of a sure goal.    
  • While the Rockets appeared to run out of gas in the late stages trying to protect a one goal lead, they had two glorious chances to seal it.  Colton Sissons was denied on a shorthanded breakaway and then Cody Fowlie failed to get the puck over the right pad of Tips goaltender Daniel Cotton on a goal mouth chances late in the game.
  • The Rockets played this one without second leading scorer Zach Franko.  Franko missed the game with flu.
  • It marked the second straight weekend the Rockets were forced to play three games in three nights. It also ended a portion of the schedule where the team played ten games in 17 days.    
  • The Rockets sit in third place in the overall WHL standings, just one point back of second place Edmonton and seven back of first place Portland. More importantly the Rockets are seven points up on Kamloops for first place in the  BC Division but the Blazers now have a game in hand.  

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