- Mark Guggenberger's ability to bounce back from a bad goal may be his greatest asset. The 21 year-old goaltender gave up a soft goal less than three minutes into Saturday night's game, but then made several sensational saves, leading his team to a 3-2 win over the Tri City Americans. The series is now tied at one win apiece with games three and four on home ice Tuesday and Wednesday night.
- The soft goal is the result of a weak backhand from Americans forward Sergei Drozd that misses the net. The puck goes off the end boards and hits the inside of Guggenberger's pad while he is in the butter fly. The puck then slowly makes its way towards the goal line and just goes it.
- It's not a goal you want to give up against an Americans team that has no problem generating offense on their own. But hey, it happens. The good news is Guggenberger only gets better as the game goes on, including a tremendous right pad save in the second period off of Americans forward Adam Hughesman. On a bad line change by the Rockets, Hughesman finds himself essentially on a 2 on 0 with Johnny Lazo. Lazo feeds Hughesman the puck, who goes to the forehand and is denied by Guggenberger. It was the best save of the series without question. It keeps the game tied at one late in the second period.
- Lucas Bloodoff is playing with intensity and was a physical force in game two. The Rockets captain again scores a timely goal and delivered some solid hits, specifically to the Americans defensive core. Bloodoff is leading the physical assault while scoring goals in four straight games.
- The Americans were extremely physical in game one, but they were no where near that aggressive in game two. The Rockets stayed the course and attempted to hit the Americans at every opportunity. That will pay dividends as this series continues. Collin Bowman also amped up his physical play in the third period.
- Defenceman Dallas Jackson looks better in this series than he did in the opening seven games against Everett. Jackson is more physical, yet is still contributing offensively. Jackson has two assists in the series, but more importantly is a +3.
- The line of Shane McColgan, Brett Bulmer and Mitchell Callahan upped their play in game two. The line was extremely quiet in game one, but answered the bell with more jump. That line is without a point in the first two games.
- It's not often you see only three minor penalties called in a playoff game, but referee's Pat Smith and Steve Papp did their best of staying out of the way and letting the teams decide it. This game had infractions, no question, but it wasn't a tightly called game.
- Trying to draw a penalty took an embarrassing turn for Americans rookie defenceman Zach Yuen. Yuen appears to get a high stick in the face and attempts to over sell it by throwing his gloves and stick to the ice. The problem is, the supposed high stick isn't called leaving the 16 year-old essentially useless to his team, as the Rockets control the puck in the offensive zone. The Rockets fail to capitalize, but Yuen gets an earful from Americans head coach Jim Hiller when he gets to the bench. I don't think Yuen will pull that act anytime soon.
- Happy belated birthday to Americans GM Bob Tory.
- The above photo courtesy of John Allen Photography.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Series tied at one
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- Photos courtesy of John Allen Photography
- Big hits, raw emotion, results in two goal loss
- Rockets fall 5-3 to Tri City Americans
- Technical problems in Tri City
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