Back atop the WHL

Posted By: Regan Bartel · 2/3/2016 8:00:00 AM

 

Shoot the Breeze Photography
  • Two men enter, one man leaves. It is the famous line from the 1985 movie Mad Max - Beyond Thunderdome. I don't think it was a fight to the death last night at Prospera Place, but it clearly was a battle between the two top teams (statistically) in the Western Hockey League. Tomas Soustal erased a 14 game goal scoring drought with two goals and Michael Herringer was terrific in the Kelowna Rockets 2-1 win over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. The 20th home ice win of the season allowed the Rockets to leapfrog over the Hurricanes and into first place in the overall standings (one point up) with 21 games left in the regular season. The Rockets sweep the season series 3-0-0-0, but this was clearly the most entertaining game of the three. 
  • Both teams didn't disappoint. For a Tuesday night game in early February ...

The Rockets had reason to be road weary

Posted By: Regan Bartel · 2/2/2016 7:06:00 AM

The longer I call games on the radio at the Western Hockey League level, the more I realize how uneven the playing field is for the road team. It is extremely tilted here in the Western Conference, specifically, when the road team plays at home one night and is then forced to travel no less than six hours through the night to play in a visiting city the next evening. Thankfully, these games/situations are kept to a minimum in the WHL, but they do happen from time to time.
That is exactly the scenario the Kelowna Rockets faced Sunday afternoon in Seattle/Kent, where the home town T-Birds snapped a three game losing streak with a convincing 2-0 win.
Fans in Seattle will boast that their team had an easy time against the defending champions. The 4,066 fans that attended the game at ShoWare Center would be correct. The Rockets weren't much competition ...

Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes

Posted By: Regan Bartel · 1/28/2016 8:42:00 AM
 
Rodney Southam answers the bell - Shoot the Breeze Photo
  • Captain Southam. Has a nice ring to it doesn't it? I think it was the right choice to name Rodney Southam the captain when I evaluate all of the likely candidates. The fact that 20 year-old Tyson Baillie will wear a 'A' on home ice and overager Cole Linaker is an associate captain on the road is a nice touch. Baillie has been with the team for five years while Linaker has spent four seasons in Kelowna.    
  • What Southam's appointment does within the dressing room is clear the air on if indeed a captain would be named this season. Was it the white elephant in the room? I wouldn't go that far, but I think many players were wondering of the 22 teams in the league, why did they not appoint a captain? Now that question is ...
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