Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and Giants are meeting for the 7th of 10 times this season. The Rockets are 3-3-0-0 against the Giants this season, having been out-scored 18-14 in the seasonal series. These two teams met Friday night in Vancouver with the Giants earning a 5-2 win. The Rockets have won 3 of the last four meetings between the two teams. The Rockets snapped a two game losing streak Monday night with a 4-1 win in Chilliwack. Cody Almond scored twice and added an assist in the win while Brady Leavold had a goal and an assist in the team’s 21st victory of the season. The Rockets open a four game home stand tonight, which features games Friday against Prince George, Saturday against Kamloops and next Wednesday against the Chilliwack Bruins. Overall the Rockets enter tonight’s game with points in seven of their last ten games (5-3-0-2).
Dig a Little Deeper: The Rockets have been out-shot 184-126 in the first six games against the Giants this season. The Giants are averaging 30.7 shots per game while the Rockets are averaging just 21 shots per game. The Giants have out-shot the Rockets in four of the first 6 games, with the Rockets out-shooting the Giants 28-24 in a 2-1 win back on October 24th. On Friday night the two teams had 23 shots apiece.
Giants Undertaking: The Rockets are 3 for 29=10.3% on the power play in the seasonal series against Vancouver. The Giants on the other hand are 9 for 28=32% with the extra man. The Giants were 4 for 8 with the man advantage the last time these two teams met on December 29th.
Westy Gets Testy: The Rockets have started goaltender Kristofer Westblom in 5 of the 6 games against the Giants this season. The exception was December 29th when Torrie Jung made 18 saves in a 5-2 loss. Jung also came in relief of Westblom in a 5-0 loss in Vancouver October 8th.
Period 1 2 3 OT SO Total
Rockets: 3 5 5 0 1 14
Giants: 3 8 7 0 0 18
Life without Luke: The Rockets are playing their 8th straight game without defenseman Luke Schenn, who is playing for Canada at the World Juniors. The Rockets are 4-2-0-1 without arguably the team’s top defenseman. Defenseman Tyson Barrie is missing his 4th game as he attends the Under 17 Championships in Kitchener Ontario.
Saying Goodbye to 2007: The Rockets 4-1 win in Chilliwack New Years Eve ended a stretch of games where the hockey club played 8 of their last 9 games on the road. The Rockets record was 4-3-0-2 in those 9 games. The lone home game over that period was a 4-3 loss December 28th to the Kamloops Blazers.
A Jammed January Schedule: The Rockets play 13 games in 28 days in the month of January. Eight of those 13 games are on home ice. Five of the team’s road games in January include two in Prince George and a single stop in Kamloops. The Rockets are on a mini road trip through the Central division when they face the Swift Current Broncos and Medicine Hat Tigers January 25th and 26th.
Longing for a Scoring Title: Kelowna Rockets forward Colin Long is chasing down Chilliwack’s Mark Santorelli for the WHL scoring title. Long trails Santorelli by two points heading into tonight’s game. Who was the last Rockets player to lead the league in scoring? Since the franchise was born in 1991, no Rockets player has ever won the league scoring title. Jesse Schultz came close in 2002-2003, racking up 104 points, four fewer than Brandon’s Eric Fehr.
McEwan MIA: Rockets forward James McEwan received a serious cut to his forearm in a fight Saturday night against Vancouver Giants enforcer Garet Hunt. McEwan underwent surgery in Vancouver Sunday, and will be out of the lineup indefinitely. McEwan was celebrating his 200th WHL game Saturday night. It was the 6th time McEwan has fought Hunt in the last two seasons.
Red Hot Rockets:
Colin Long: Long has a 6 game point streak (4+9=13), and has points in 14 of his last 15 games (10+17=27). Long has multiple point games in seven of his last 11 games. Long has 14 goals in his last 20 games.
Cody Almond: has 5+3=8 in his last four games.
Jamie Benn: goals in six of his last 9 games. Overall Benn has 8 goals in his last 9 games.
Luke Schenn: 1+4=5 in last five games.
Brady Leavold: 5+7=12 in last 11 games.
Lucas Bloodoff: Snapped a 12 game goal scoring drought Monday in Chilliwack.
Rockets vs. Divisions:
vs. BC: 10-7-0-1 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 4 vs. PG Rockets 3 Raiders 2 W
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
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 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 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)