View Full Version : Last chapter for Rocket trio

04-01-2005, 04:45 PM

Copied from Mar30/05 Kelowna Capital News

Last chapter for Rocket trio

By Warren Henderson
Staff Reporter
Mar 30 2005

During the course of his Western Hockey League career, Tyler Mosienko added 30 pounds to his diminutive 5-foot-8 frame.
But body weight isn't the only way the West St. Paul, Man., native measures his growth over five memorable seasons in a Kelowna Rockets uniform.
"When I came here as a 16-year-old, honestly there wasn't a whole lot on my mind, just putting the equipment on and playing," said Mosienko, who turned 21 on March 21.
"You come here a boy and leave as a man. You learn so much about hockey and life, it really changes you as a person. It's like family here. It's been a really great experience."
Mosienko, one of the most popular players in the history of the organization, is one of three overage Rockets who are heading into the final weeks of their respective WHL careers.
Captain Brett Palin, a stalwart on defence since the 2000-01 season, and blue liner Darren Deschamps will also bid farewell to the Rockets at season's end.
Palin, who arrived in Kelowna as a 16-year-old, has since played in 324 regular season contests for the Rockets. Only Mosienko (338) and Jason Deleurme (341) have appeared in more games than the Nanaimo native.
"When you break it down, I've been here for a quarter of my life," said Palin, who posted a career-high 25 points in 2004-05. "As a raw rookie, you wonder how long you're going to be here. It's been a great five years. I've gained some lifelong friendships-and everything you do on the ice you can look at as a really good experience."
Deschamps will soon be putting closure to his life in the WHL after cracking the Rockets' lineup in 2002-03. He evolved from seeing only spot duty in his rookie season to become one of the club's most dependable veterans.
"It happened so fast, it seems like yesterday I was here meeting guys like Kiel McLeod," said Deschamps, the 6-foot-2 Calgary native. "Now I'm one of the old guys. It's the last time I'll get to play with this group of players. We all really want to go out on the right foot."
Rockets head coach Jeff Truitt arrived on the scene along with Mosienko and Palin back in 2000 as an assistant coach and has witnessed every step of the way the maturation process of the two players, both on and off the ice."Those guys have been a big part of this team since the day they came here and have been a credit to the way the organization has evolved," said Truitt. "The fact that they've been here five years is a testament to their commitment to the organization. They've contributed a lot with their skills on the ice and the kind of people they are away from the rink.
Mosey and Pales have been real trailblazers for this franchise."
While Deschamps' service in a Rocket uniform was two seasons fewer than Mosienko and Palin, Truitt was equally complimentary when asked the tall redhead's contribution to his team."No matter what is asked of him, Darren has been there for the team and his teammates," added Truitt. "His play on the ice is one thing. Off the ice, his value to the team is immeasurable. He's a popular guy, a great in the dressing room and he's been very helpful to our younger guys."
While the Rocket threesome will surely reflect on and reminisce about their WHL careers in the months and years to come, Mosienko assures too much talk about the end of the road is infringing on what really matters at the moment-the WHL playoffs and the desire to play in a third consecutive Memorial Cup.
"The gist of my worries right now is the next game," said Mosienko. "It'd really be nice to go with a bang. All the winning we've done during my time here has been awesome. It would be huge to win it all again."
Rocket shots-Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series is set for Friday, 7 p.m. at Prospera Place. A sixth game, if necessary, will be played Saturday night in Vancouver-The Rockets are hopeful Shea Weber will be able to resume skating in the next several days. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound defenceman has been out since March 5 with an injured left knee.