|Marissa Baecker - Shoot the Breeze Photography|
- If the Kelowna Rockets exited Prospera Place last night after a 3-2 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings disappointed that would be natural. But they couldn't leave the building feeling glum about their effort in the one goal loss. Outside of a shaky opening period, the Rockets played an inspired, emotional game against a team that is red hot. The win was the Oil Kings 10th in a row. Despite being out-shot 17-9 in the first period, the home team out-shot the visitors 19-10 through the final 45 minutes before the game was settled in the shootout.
- Unfortunately this game had some controversy attached to it. Rockets' forward Ryan Olsen stole a puck at his own blue line in overtime, escaped a check of Oil Kings forward Reid Petryk and appeared to score on goaltender Tristan Jarry with under five seconds left in overtime. Jarry made the original stop on Olsen's backhand attempt but the puck appeared to go in before the 18 year-old's back left leg kicks the puck back out. The original call on the ice was no goal but one camera angle showed those in the building that the puck indeed made its way across. The overhead angle showed nothing. After a significant delay, the video goal judge ruled the puck either didn't go in or that the net was dislodged before the puck entered the net. Either way, no goal was allowed and the two teams had to settle the game in the shootout.
- This was a great game. It was filled with lots of emotion as neither team wanted to give an inch on the ice. I can't say how the Oil Kings have been playing, but this was an encouraging game for the Rockets who have looked a little flat as of late. They played with good emotion and had solid push back as the game went along. Ryan Olsen played a strong game for the home team with a massive hit on Edgars Kulda in overtime and even managed a fight with Oil Kings tough guy Mitch Moroz.
- Where was the level of the Rockets' compete and wanting the win as much or more than the Oil Kings? I can count at least four blocked shots in the game, including one from Rourke Chartier that fractured his stick in the second period. I haven't seen that from the Rockets in quite some time where they were committed as a unit when it came to getting into shooting lanes.
- Jordon Cooke made a tremendous save on Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar in the third period when the game was tied at two. Lazar found himself one-on-one with Cooke who made a nice left pad save. Lazar was held off the score-sheet for only the 7th time this season.
- Carter Rigby had a nice goal to tie the game at two. The 19 year-old fielded a high pass at centre, skated wide on the defenceman before firing a backhand low on the ice past Tristan Jarry's blocker. Rigby needs to do more of that. Skate with the puck and drive the net. How does an opposing defenceman defend that? You can't because Rigby's size is a major factor. I can't honestly remember the last time I saw the 19 year-old cut towards the net with the puck with authority.
- With Jesse Lees out with an injury, 16 year-old rookie Joe Gatenby played some significant minutes and really fared well. For Gatenby to see the ice as much as he did against a good team like the Oil Kings is invaluable. Did the Oil Kings dress a 16 year-old rookie on defence? Nope. The visitors only have one 16 year-old on their roster in Jesse Mills. The Peachland resident was a scratch.
- I thought the crowd was excellent. Much of the noise they made was for the officiating crew, who made some questionable calls. The crowd was also good when Olsen's goal late in overtime was being reviewed. Chants of 'goal ...goal.....goal' were heard across the arena as the officiating staff were on the phone to the video goal judge.