Rockets tighten up defensive game
By Warren Henderson - Kelowna Capital News
Published: November 14, 2011 12:00 PM
Updated: November 14, 2011 12:18 PM
There's no guarantee the Kelowna Rockets are out of the woods yet, but it's not a bad start.
The Western Hockey League club earned three of a possible four points over the weekend to halt a five-game losing skid, while restoring some much needed confidence.
A better all-around defensive effort was largely responsible for a 2-1 shootout win over the Edmonton Oil Kings Friday night at Prospera.
Then on Saturday in Vancouver, the Rockets managed a point in a 3-2 loss to the Giants. Kelowna allowed 27 shots against Edmonton and just 22 vs the Giants.
"We've had a better commitment to defense," said Rockets assistant coach Ryan Cuthbert. "We've been holding teams to less shots and fewer opportunities.
"We all know we have to play better defensively to have success, it's a matter of getting everybody on the same page."
Goaltender Jordon Cooke, making back-to-back starts for the first time this season, was solid in both outings, taking the reins from 20-year-old Adam Brown who wasn't at his best the week before.
"Cookie played very well, he had a chance to show what he could do and stepped up," said Cuthbert. "You always want two goaltenders you can count on. There'll be times when one guy's hot and one's cold.
"Brownie had a couple of tough nights, but as a team we want to make his job easier and give him some more help back there."
The Rockets will have some quality practise time this week before returning to action this weekend with two games in Prince George against the Cougars.
The clubs will meet for a third straight time next Wednesday at Propsera Place, a matchup of two teams battling for fourth spot in the B.C. Division. The Rockets (6-11-2-1) currently have a one-point edge on P.G. (6-13-0-1).
Huska, 3 players to Sask
Rockets head coach Ryan Huska will assist head man Don Hay this week for Games 5 and 6 of the Subway Super Series.
Team WHL will take on the Russians in the annual showcase Wednesday, Nov. 16 in Regina, and again Thursday, May 17 in Moose Jaw.
Huska will also join Hay behind the bench for Canada later this year at the 2012 IIHF Wourl Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary.
Three Rockets players will suit up for Wednesday's game in Regina—Brett Bulmer, Colton Sissons and Zach Franko.