Kirkland's move to the middle looks marvellous

Posted By: Regan Bartel · 11/22/2015 10:49:00 AM


Justin Kirkland - Shoot the Breeze Photography
  • With injuries to Rourke Chartier and Dillon Dube, 19 year-old forward Justin Kirkland is being forced to play centre. It looks good on him. Kirkland finds himself in the middle between wingers Tomas Soustal and Tyson Baillie and the unit is a scary threat to score. Kirkland has collected six assists in three games since making the move to the middle in a 4-3 overtime win Wednesday in Kamloops. The move, for whatever reason, is allowing Kirkland more puck possession and more quality shots on goal. With arguably the quickest release on the team, Kirkland's shot is handcuffing goaltenders and creating massive rebounds for his line-mates who are cashing in. A good example was Tyson Baillie's third period goal last night in a 5-2 home ice win over the Vancouver Giants.  Kirkland's hard wrister wasn't controlled by Giants goalie Ryan Kubic. Like flies ...

Notes, quotes and anecdotes

Posted By: Regan Bartel · 11/17/2015 12:00:00 PM


Former Kelowna Rockets goalie Jordan Cooke 
  • A nice interview with veteran forward Cole Linaker last week when he reflected on playing his 200th WHL game. The 20 year-old spoke about the team-mates he has played with over the years. "We have such tight knitted teams since I have been here. All the big name guys, we have had so many, there is something about all of them. We haven't had many egotistical guys. I think that falls to Bruce's (Hamilton) credit. At the start of every year he always talks about wanting good guys and it will make us successful", Linaker told me while watching the Zamboni clean the ice at Prospera Place. "We have had a pretty humble group of guys over the years since I've been here. We have not had anyone that has held himself above the rest considering the impressive list of skilled guys we have had here. We ...

Whistle unable to bail out Rockets again.

Posted By: Regan Bartel · 11/15/2015 7:57:00 PM
Gordie Ballhorn - Shoot the Breeze Photography
  • No excuses in a 4-3 overtime loss Saturday night in Spokane. The Kelowna Rockets were well rested. The Rockets were waiting in their hotel room in Spokane Friday night while the Chiefs were four hours down the road playing the Everett Silvertips. The Rockets should have been fresher. Sadly, the Chiefs were more determined in the one goal win. Defenceman Jason Fram scored the game winner in overtime as Spokane rallied from a 3-1 third period deficit, snapping the Rockets five game winning streak. Despite the loss, the Rockets did pick up a point and moved into a tie with Victoria for first place in the Western Conference with two games in hand. 
  • What has been a trend through the first month and a half of the regular season is the teams reliance on goaltender Jackson Whistle. The team gives up way too ...