Thursday, April 30, 2015

Portland Blows Out Kelowna Then Loses in a Strong Rocket Push Back Effort/ Games 3 and 4 Notes and Stats

The Portland Winterhawks jumped out to another lead in Game 3 then were witness to a huge Kelowna meltdown, en route to a 7-3 victory.

Here are my Stats from Tuesday's 7-3 Win:
Player TOI Shots Faceoff % Hits Blocked Shots
Iverson UNK 1 N/A 6 1
Petan UNK 1 13/23=56.5% 1 0
Bjorkstrand UNK 8 N/A 4 0
De LeoUNK415/27=55.6%10
-Dominic Turgeon opened the scoring with yet another slick play in a tough area. After Miles Koules had a great rush up the ice, Turgeon found a loose puck and made a slick backhand for the goal. Turgeon also hit the crossbar, moments later. Turgeon used his size to his advantage and was able to cause issues for Kelowna's smaller defensemen.

-One such D-man was the 2nd round NHL drafted Madison Bowey, who was caught swimming on Turgeon's and though he made several smart plays on the night, he made several other poor decisions  as well. With his team trailing 4-1 in the 2nd period, Bowey cross checked Keegan Iverson several times after the whistle and earned a trip to the box, leading to Portland's 5th goal of the night. Also as the Rocket's were pushing, Bowey was caught trying to pinch and was burned by a slick pass by Nic Petan, leading to Oliver bjorkstrand's 2nd goal of the night and Portland's 6th. Bowey's ability to activate is what makes Kelowna so dangerous in transition, but he has got to be better in his own end, especially reading the play as it develops and playing the body.
-Another Rocket D-man who needs to be better for them to succeed, is Josh Morrissey. He was -2 on the night and committed 2 minor penalties, His delay of game penalty led to Turgeon's goal and he also committed a holding penalty in the 3rd period. He's struggled to physically contain Portland's top line forwards, leading to putting his team a man down. Morrissey also had a clean look at an open net with Adin Hill down and out and missed.
-Adin Hill put together one of the best single periods of goaltending I've seen from a Winterhawk Goalie in recent memory in the 2nd period. He robbed Tyrell Goulbourne while he was down on the ice and also made a stellar right pad save later in the period. He also robbed Leon Draisaitl with his glove in impressive fashion, before the referees overturned the original call despite a lack of evidence and awarded Draisaitl the goal (it's unclear what the original call was on the ice).At one point, Portland had been out shot in the 2nd period 10-2, but had out scored Kelowna 2-0.
-Anton Cederholm has been stellar against Draisaitl/Baillie and whomever they are lined with, by just being in solid position and using his size to his advanatage. He's also slowly increased how much he's jumping up into the play and this has helped the Hawk's transition offense.
-Kelowna rotated many forwards onto the line with Draisaitl and Baillie, some with success (Riley Stadel had a late goal) and some without (Kole Lind was undressed by Keoni Texeira on Portland's 2nd goal).
-Bjorkstrand had 2 goals on the night  but has still not had a hat trick in the playoffs.
-Nic Petan extended his playoff point streak to 14 games with a goal.
-Rourke Chartier was banged up and spent some time in the Rocket's locker room. Kelowna was already without forwards: Gage Quinney and Justin Kirkland.

Kelowna rebounded with a 3-2 Game Four win on Wednesday night:
Player TOI Shots Faceoff % Hits Blocked Shots
Iverson UNK 0 N/A 3 1
Petan UNK 6 8/16=50% 3 1
Bjorkstrand UNK 7 N/A 4 2
De LeoUNK513/29=44.8%41
-Portland scored first yet again as a great entry from Alex Schoenborn, led to a Paul Bittner feed to Chase De Leo back door for a goal. De Leo was not that great at the faceoff dot particularly against Leon Draisaitl, but his line continues to be the most consistent defensively for Portland.
-Schoenborn played his best all around game in the playoffs. He played great with a combination of size, speed and skill. He has gotten under the skin of the Rocket's stars as well, which helped contribute to Game 3's win.
-Kelowna was able to score 3 straight goals in the game, finally finding a way past a, yet again, spectacular Adin Hill. Draisaitl scored their first goal in the first, when Nick Merkley found him in space and he slipped  a backhand past Hill. Merkley was AWOL on Tuesday night but was Kelowna's best passer Wednesday.
-Without Rourke Chartier, Kelowna needed a lot from Merkley and Draisaitl and they got it with the first goal. This seemed to give the Rockets the confidence they needed after Tuesday's disaster.
-Tomas Soustal has been slotted in 3rd and 4th line positions in this series, but has been one of their best, play driving forwards. In the 2nd period, he made a slick play, taking advantage of Blake Heinrich colliding with his Goalie, by finding Chance Braid for an open net goal. Both Braid and Soustal give the Rockets depth of playmakers. Braid especially, I believe should be used more frequently, as Kelowna has struggled with getting much traffic in front of Hill to find the many loose pucks that have been there.
-Tyrell Goulbourne, who was robbed by Hill in Game 3, was able to find his way to one of those loose pucks and he made a nice box out move on Cederholm to get a clean swipe at it. It would hold up as the eventual game winner.
-Nic Petan scored yet again and now has a 15 game point streak in the playoffs. He definitely looked to shoot more in the game, but his goal actually came off of his skate.
-Paul Bittner who had been great in Game 3, was not so in Game 4. He had some good looks at the net, but missed them. He also, was not as adept a passer as he usually is.
-Jackson Whistle, who could not make the big save on Tuesday leading to him getting pulled, did so on Wednesday with 40 big ones on 42 shots.
-Hill responded really well after giving up the 3 goals with several more great saves to add to his highlight reel. He needed a little more help from his D-men in front of him. They've been great at clearing out the garbage, but Goulbourne found his way to a big one.

The 2-2 series continues with Game 5 going Friday night at Prospera Place.

Editor's note:
I did record times for my Time on Ice stats but have not had the opportunity to tabulate them as of yet.

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