Saturday, April 4, 2009
Third Period Collapse Costly!
* Was he injured or was he getting a rest? Whatever it was, Tri City Americans captain Taylor Procyshen was the hero for the second straight night after sitting on the bench for the majority of the third watching the game. The twenty year-olds' power play goal, with Ian Duval in the penalty box for hooking, was part of a three goal comeback leading the Tri City Americans to a 3-2 win in game two of the Western Conference semi final series with the Kelowna Rockets'.
* The reason I was pondering if Procyshen was hurt was his lack of ice time in the third period, when traditionally your best players should be out on the ice in a bid to erase a two goal deficit. If Americans head coach Don Nachbaur was saving his captain for the dramatic finish by resting him, he is lights out the smartest coach in the WHL.
* The loss was especially hard to take considering the Rockets' had a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes. To give up three-third period goals will not sit well with a coaching staff. It should hurt even more for the players. If it doesn't , something isn't right.
* Despite a 2-0 lead heading into the third period, I was as uncomfortable as a Hells Angel at a prayer meeting with the Rockets play. They were making two many errors defensively and no less than two of their top veteran players (we won't mention names) were again silent. For the second straight night the Rockets appeared scared to lose the game by sitting back instead of getting the crucial goal to make it 3-0, and in essence, putting the game out of reach.
* The Rockets were 31-2-0-2 when leading after 40 minutes during the regular season.
* The Rockets have now lost two straight, the first time they've lost back-to-back games since a 4-3 loss in Portland February 16th followed by a 4-3 shoot-out loss two night's later against Chilliwack.
* Mikael Backlund returned to the Rockets' lineup, but provided little spark. Backlund spent the majority of the game playing with Jamie Benn.
* Americans forward Jason Reese sat out game two with a leg injury. Despite failing to have one of their top point getter's from the regular season, the Americans appeared to be more determined than ever to play hard without one of their difference makers.
* The Americans' are clearly playing a harder, smarter game than the Rockets' in the opening two games. Despite the 2-0 lead, it was the Americans', not the Rockets', who were generating the more dangerous offensive chances.
* The Americans' were guilty of giving up way more odd man rushes in game two, yet the Rockets were often times unable to convert. Cody Almond's goal to make it 2-0 was the one time that the visitors made the home team pay for a defensive blunder.
* Game two didn't have the raw emotion that we saw in game one. Their was very little pushing and shoving after the play, and the trash talking wasn't what he expected against two teams that looked like they wanted to poke each others eyes out in game one.
* The Rockets' have now lost 8 straight games in Tri City dating back to February 25, 2006. The Rockets' were a 4-3 winner on that night.
* Shane McColgan's season has come to an end with his midget team in California. McColgan is expected to join the Rockets early next week for the remainder of the season. The question is, do you insert him in the lineup?
Rock On AMS!
From worst to first I was there to see it happen!!! Im so damn proud of this team!
"Despite failing to have one of their top point getter's from the regular season, the Americans appeared to be more determined than ever to play hard without one of their difference makers. "
"The Americans' are clearly playing a harder, smarter game than the Rockets' in the opening two games. Despite the 2-0 lead, it was the Americans', not the Rockets', who were generating the more dangerous offensive chances. "
Couldn't have said it better myself.