Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets open a portion of their schedule tonight playing 7 of their next 10 games on home ice. Of those ten opponents, just one – Edmonton – is under the .500 mark. The Rockets road visits include stops in Chilliwack, Kamloops and Spokane. The Rockets enter tonight’s game with ten wins in their last 13 games overall, and are riding a seven game home ice winning streak. The Rockets are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss in Medicine Hat Saturday. The Rockets built up a 2-0 lead only to see the Tigers score three unanswered goals before Collin Bowman tied the game in the third period. The two teams settled nothing in overtime before the Tigers won the game in the shootout. Tonight’s game against the Silvertips is the 4th and final meeting of the season between the two teams. The Rockets were a 6-4 winner in Everett to open the seasonal series before the Tips bounced back to win by scores of 4-3 and 3-2 in overtime. Overall the Rockets are 1-1-1-0 in the first three games, with both teams scoring 11 goals in the three games. If the playoffs were to begin tonight, these two teams would face each other in the opening round. Following tonight’s game the Rockets host Lethbridge on Friday before traveling to Chilliwack Saturday night.
Period Scoring vs. Tips:
1 2 3 OT Total
Rockets 6 2 3 0 11
Tips 4 5 1 1 11
Breaking it Down Further: The Tips have out-shot the Rockets in two of the three games this season. Overall the Tips have fired 85 shots at the Rockets goal for an average of 28.3 per game. The Rockets have registered 75 shots on goal for an average of 25 per game. The Rockets have started Kristofer Westblom in two of the three games this season against Everett. Torrie Jung was in goal in the Rockets lone win, 6-4 over the Tips September 28th in Everett. The Rockets are 4 for 21=19% on the power play in the seasonal series, while the Tips are 6 for 20=30% with the extra man.
Potential Playoff Partner? If the playoffs were to begin tonight, the Rockets and Tips would meet in the opening round. It would mark the third time that these two teams have tangled in the playoffs. The Tips were a 7 game winner in the Western Conference final in 2003, and beat the Rockets in 6 games in the 2006 Western Conference Semi Finals.
Red Hot Rockets: Colin Long has points in 15 of his last 18 games (7+27=34). Jamie Benn leads the team in power play goals with 13. Cody Almond set a new career high in goals with his 17th and 18th goals of the season Saturday in Medicine Hat. Almond has been held off the score-sheet just twice in 15 games since the Christmas break.
Rockets Tidbits: Three former members of the Kelowna Rockets participated in the AHL All-Star Game Monday. Justin Keller (Norfolk), Joel Kwiatkowski (Chicago) and Jeff Tambellini (Bridgeport) suited up for the Canadian AHL All-Stars. Keller was a late addition to the team after replacing teammate Kyle Wanvig, who was called up by Tampa Bay. Keller played 216 games with the Rockets from 2004-2006. Kwiatkowski played 110 games with Tacoma/Kelowna from 1994-1996 before being traded to the Prince George Cougars. Tambellini never played a game with the Rockets, but was acquired at the trade deadline in 2004 from the Spokane Chiefs…Brady Leavold has goals in four of his last six games and in 9 of his last 13…Jamie Benn has seven-two goal games this season, but has yet to register a hat-trick…Colin Long has 24-multiple point games this season…The Rockets have 20 games left in the regular season, 12 at home and 8 on the road…The Rockets have had the second most power play chances of any team in the WHL (297). Only Everett has had more chances with the extra man…The Rockets have won 7 straight at home, with their last setback being a 4-3 loss to Kamloops on December 28th. The Rockets have out-scored their opponent 37-10 in those seven home games…The Rockets have points in 9 of their last 13 road games (6-4-0-3). The Rockets four road regulation losses over that period were against Swift Current (4-0), Kamloops (5-3), Vancouver (5-2) and Regina (4-3).
Rockets vs. Divisions:
vs. BC: 18-8-0-1 vs. US: 5-5-2-0
vs. Central: 3-1-0-1 vs. East: 4-3-0-2
Rockets Players by Province: BC=12 US=4 ALB=3 SASK=2 MAN=1 EURO=1 Total=23
Rockets Schedule - Next 5 Games: Rockets Results - Last 5 Games:
Feb 1 vs. Lethbridge Rockets 3 Chilliwack 2 W
Feb 2 @ Chilliwack Rockets 6 Prince George 3 W
Feb 8 @ Kamloops Rockets 9 Hawks 2 W
Feb 9 vs. Chilliwack Rockets 0 Broncos 4 L
Feb 14 vs. Brandon Rockets 3 Tigers 4 SOL
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 9-2-0-1 7-0-0-0 2-2-0-1
February: 11 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
Rockets Season Highs and Lows:
Most Goals Scored: 11 @ Prince George Jan 11/08 in an 11-1 win.
Most Goals Allowed: 6 vs. Kootenay Nov 23/07 (7-6 OTW), @ Tri City November 21/07 (6-1 L)
Most Power Play Chances: 11 @ Swift Current Jan 25/08. The Rockets were 0/11, losing 4-0.
Most Power Play Goals Scored: 4 @ Cougars Jan 11/08 (11-1 W), vs. Cougars Jan 4/08 in a 6-0 win, @ 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: 41 @ Prince George Jan 12/08 (5-2 W).
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 22 saves vs. Cougars Jan 4/08 in a 6-0 win. Kristofer Westblom 28 saves vs. Calgary (5-0 W)
Last Time Shutout: - @ Swift Current Jan 25/08 – Guggenberger 30 saves (4-0 L)
Most Points by a Player: Jamie Benn had 2+4=6 vs. Prince George Jan 19/08.
Most Goals by a Player: Brady Leavold scored 4 goals vs. Prince George Jan 19/08.
Penalty Shots: Lucas Bloodoff fails to score on Justin Leclerc in 4-3 loss to Kamloops December 28th. 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, 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: 17.7
Rookies – 7
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)