While the Oshawa Generals wait to see who they will face on Sunday for the Memorial Cup Final, the Kelowna Rockets waited to see who THEY would be playing in the semi final on Friday. We now know the host Quebec Ramparts will be the Rockets opponent. I’m awaiting this game as much as the movie premiere of Entourage next week.
The Rockets are looking for a summer blockbuster too, one with Generals admission on Sunday.
Before we get all wide eyed and dreamy, theres a hockey game to play. Kelowna didn’t finish on the right side of the score sheet the first time they played Quebec; maybe nerves got to them or too much line matching. This time, they know what they have to do to win.
Zach Fucale will be one of the reasons the Rockets dream of lifting the trophy ends on Friday or the reason they move on. Fucale has been the best goalie in the tournament. Statistically, he hasn’t done much but his confidence and stone cold demeanor when danger strikes is unmatched.
He has a bit of Roberto Luongo and Patrick Roy all wrapped up in one. A hot goalie at the right time corrects any problems the team in front of him has. Fucale is last in GAA, SA % and GA; but if you are looking for a game breaking save, he’ll probably be your guy.
At the same time, if you can beat him early and maybe put up 2 quick; that confidence can be broken. The Rockets stars have proven they can do serious damage when things are rolling and they have chased a few goalies this post season.
Coach Dan Lambert has the big guns on his side. Leon Draisaitl and Nick Merkley are right up there in points with 4 and 5 respectively. The game will be put in their hands Friday night and they will be ready. Losing to Oshawa was tough, especially because a failed 5 on 3 power play cost them the game.
Don’t forget up and comer Gage Quinney though; after the horses run on the first line, over the boards comes Quinney, Tyson Baillie and Dillon Dube. Quinney has been johnny on the spot this week and his linemates are due. Tyson Baillie has been known to score the big goal, it’d be nice to see him cash in.
Scoring from the blue line would give the forwards a break and Josh Morrissey can make that happen. The big additions will need to make the difference against Quebec or the big push GM Bruce Hamilton made will be over.
No more line matching or holding the fort; load up the top line early and often, let Merkley and Draisaitl control the puck and for pete sakes SHOOT THE PUCK MADISON BOWEY!! His shot is accurate and heavy, rebounds are tough to hold on to and this might be his last hurrah.
It’s time to get back to Kelowna Rockets hockey. Control the play, cycle that puck and score, score, score.
There is only one ticket left for the big show on Sunday and the Rockets have all the tools they need to advance. Even if the Memorial Cup Final sells out, the Rockets are just trying to get a Generals admission.
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Photo credit: kelownanow.com