Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and Cougars are meeting for just the 4th of eight times this season. The Rockets are 2-1-0-0 after winning the first two games of the seasonal series in Prince George by scores of 5-1 and 6-1 before losing 4-3 at home November 24th. Overall the Rockets have out-scored the Cougars 14-6 in the first three games. These two teams will get to know one another well this month, playing each other four times in the next 15 days. The Rockets are in Prince George for a pair of games next weekend before the Cougars make a return visit to Prospera Place January 19th. The Rockets enter tonight’s game riding a two game winning streak after a 4-1 win over Vancouver Wednesday night. Brady Leavold (2+1=3) and Colin Long (0+3=3) led the way in the Rockets 22nd win of the season, matching the teams win total from all of last season. The Rockets are playing game two of a four game home stand tonight. The Rockets host Kamloops tomorrow night before facing Chilliwack next Wednesday. Overall the Rockets enter tonight’s game with points in eight of their last eleven games (6-3-0-2).
Looking at Last Year: The Rockets had 12 wins after 41 games last season. This year the team has 22 victories after 41 games. The 22 wins are the same number the team recorded all of last season.
Declawing the Coug’s: The Rockets have out-shot the Cougars 96-65 in the first three games of the seasonal series. The Rockets are averaging 32 shots per game while the Cougars are average 21.7 shots per game. The Rockets have out-shot the Cougars in all three contests.
Power Play vs. Prince George: The Rockets are 7 for 18=38% on the power play in the seasonal series against Prince George. The Rockets were an impressive 4 for 9 with the man advantage in a 6-1 win in Prince George earlier this season. The Cougars are 4 for 18=22% with the extra man in the first three games.
Torrie Time: The Rockets have started goaltender Torrie Jung in three straight games. Jung is 2-1-0-0 over that period having allowed 7 goals over that stretch, including just two goals in his last two starts in identical 4-1 wins over Chilliwack and Vancouver. Jung has started in two of the three games against the Cougars this season.
Period Scoring Breakdown:
Period 1 2 3 OT SO Total
Rockets: 4 5 5 0 0 14
Cougars: 2 2 2 0 0 6
Long atop Leader board: Rockets 18 year-old forward Colin Long leads the WHL in points with 61, one better than Chilliwack’s Mark Santorelli. While Long is riding a 7 game point streak, Santorelli has suffered without linemate Oscar Moller, with just one goal in his last 7 games.
Life without Luke: The Rockets are playing their 9th straight game without defenseman Luke Schenn, who is playing for Canada at the World Juniors. The Rockets are 5-2-0-1 without arguably the team’s top defenseman. Defenseman Tyson Barrie is missing his 5th game as he attends the Under 17 Championships in Kitchener Ontario.
Red Hot Rockets:
Colin Long: Long has a 7 game point streak (4+12=16), and has points in 15 of his last 16 games (10+20=30). Long has multiple point games in eight of his last 12 games. Long has 14 goals in his last 21 games.
Cody Almond: has 5+3=8 in his last five games.
Jamie Benn: goals in seven of his last 10 games. Overall Benn has 9 goals in his last 10 games.
Luke Schenn: 1+4=5 in last five games.
Brady Leavold: 7+8=15 in last 12 games.
Torrie Jung: Jung is 2-1-0-0 in his last three starts with a 2.33 goals against average and a .899 save percentage.
Tysen Dowzak: Dowzak is a +7 in his last 9 games.
Colin Bowman: Bowman was a +4 in Wednesday’s game against Vancouver.
Rockets vs. Divisions:
vs. BC: 11-7-0-1 vs. US: 4-5-2-0
vs. Central: 3-1-0-0 vs. East: 4-1-0-2
Rockets Schedule - Next 5 Games: Rockets Results - Last 5 Games:
Jan 5 vs. Kamloops Rockets 3 Saskatoon 2 OTW
Jan 9 vs. Chilliwack Rockets 3 Blazers 4 L
Jan 11 @ PG Rockets 2 Vancouver 5 L
Jan 12 @ PG Rockets 4 Chilliwack 1 W
Jan 15 @ Kamloops Rockets 4 Vancouver 1 W
Rockets Players by Province: BC=13 US=4 ALB=3 SASK=2 MAN=1 EURO=1 Total=24
Rockets Season Highs and Lows:
Most Goals Scored: 7 vs. Kamloops Nov 30/07 (7-4 W), vs. Kootenay November 23/07 (7-6 OTW)
Most Goals Allowed: 6 vs. Kootenay Nov 23/07 (7-6 OTW), @ Tri City November 21/07 (6-1 L)
Most Power Play Chances: 9 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W – 4/9) vs. Warriors Oct 27/07. Rockets were 0/9 losing 4-3 in shootout.
Most Power Play Goals Scored: 4 @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W)
Most Power Play Goals Allowed: 4 @ Vancouver Dec 29/07 (5-2 L), @ Everett Sept 29/07
Most Shots Taken: 38 vs. Kamloops Nov 30/07 (7-4 W), @ Portland Nov 17/07 (Rockets 4 Hawks 1)
Fewest Shots Taken: 9 @ Vancouver Sept 29/07 (5-0L)
Most Shot Allowed: 48 @ Vancouver Sept 30/07
Fewest Shots Allowed: 13 vs. Blazers Oct 30/07 (6-1 W)
Last Shutout: - Kristofer Westblom 28 saves vs. Calgary (5-0 W)
Last Time Shutout: - @ Vancouver Sept 29/07 – Sexsmith 9 saves (5-0 L)
Penalty Shots: Torrie Jung stops Bruins forward Cody Smuk in a 4-1 win in Chilliwack Dec 31/07. Torrie Jung stops Hawks forward Luke Walker Nov 17/07 in a 4-1 win in Portland. Kristofer Westblom stops Everett’s Shane Harper in a 3-2 overtime loss Nov 16/07 in Everett. Torrie Jung stopped Michal Repik in the 3rd period of a 5-0 loss Sept 29/07.
Overtime Winning Goal: Jamie Benn scored at 4:59 December 15/07 in a 3-2 win in Saskatoon. Tyler Myers scored at 3:58 of overtime December 5/07 in a 4-3 win over Medicine Hat. Colin Long scored at :44 of overtime Nov 23/07 in a 7-6 win over Kootenay. Jamie Benn scored at 1:07 of overtime Nov 2/07 in a 3-2 win over Chilliwack.
Shootout Game Winning Goals: Dylan Hood scores in a 4-3 win in Seattle October 6/07. Colin Long scored the game winner in a 2-1 win over Vancouver October 24th.
Player total: 24
Year by Year Breakdown:
20’s – 3 Westblom, McEwan, Leavold
19’s – 3 Dowzak, MacRae, Joe
18’s – 8 Long, Kytnar, Brusciano, L. Bloodoff, Jung, Schenn, Almond, Benn
17’s – 6 St. Denis, E. Bloodoff, McIntosh, Myers, McMillan, Hood
16’s – 4 Bowman, Barrie, Paradis, Verdino
Average Age: 17.8
Rookies – 7
Record by Month:
Month Games Record Home Road
September: 4 1-2-1-0 0-1-1-0 1-1-0-0
October: 11 5-5-0-1 3-3-0-1 2-2-0-0
November: 13 9-2-1-1 4-1-0-0 5-1-1-1
December: 12 6-4-0-2 2-1-0-0 4-3-0-2
January: 13 1-0-0-0 1-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
February: 11 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
NHL Draft Picks-Training Camp Attendees: Jamie Benn (Dallas 07), Torrie Jung (Tampa Bay 07), Cody Almond (Minnesota 07), Milan Kytnar (Oilers 07), Tysen Dowzak (Tryout Philadelphia).
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel (AM 1150)