Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and Americans are meeting for the 4th and final time this season. The Rockets are 0-2-1-0 in the first three games, having been out-scored 14-6. The Rockets are coming off a 5-4 win Wednesday against the Chilliwack Bruins. Colin Long scored twice, while Jamie Benn, Brandon McMillan and Luke Schenn added singles in the clubs 37th win of the season. The Rockets allowed a season low 11 shots on goal while going 2 for 5 on the power play. The win snapped the Rockets five game home ice losing streak. Overall the Rockets have four wins in their last 11 games, having scored 22 goals over that period. Following tonight’s game the Rockets close out the season tomorrow night at home to the Prince George Cougars. The Rockets year-end awards banquet is set for Tuesday March 18, the same day playoff tickets go on sale for games three and four of the Rockets best of seven opening round series against an undetermined opponent.
A Playoff Opponent? The Rockets and Americans could meet in the opening round of the playoffs. These two teams have met three times in the post season, with best of five series in 1993 and best of seven series in 1996 and in 2004. In the 1996 opening round playoff series, the Americans advanced with a 6 game series win. In 2004, these two teams met in the second round with the Rockets losing the first two games before winning the next four to advance to the Western Conference final. As the Tacoma Rockets, the two teams met in the first round in 1993 with the Rockets winning a 5 game series – 3 games to one.
Colin the Shots: Give Rockets leading scorer Colin Long some credit for producing without his #1 wingman. Without Jamie Benn, Long has still managed to put up 17 points (6+11=17) in 17 games. Without Benn by his side, Long has held off the score-sheet just 4 times in those 17 games. Prior to Benn's injury in practice on January 27th, the 18 year-old had 10+15=25 in his last 12 games.
Who’s Hot-Who’s Not: Colin Long has points in 12 of his last 14 games. Long had 8+8=16 over that period. Luke Schenn has goals in back-to-back games. Brandon McMillan snapped a 16 game goal scoring drought Wednesday night. Evan Bloodoff has not scored in 17 games. Tyson Barrie has 3+11=14 in his last 18 games. Myles MacRae has 3 goals in his last 23 games and just 2 goals in his last 18.
Quick Hitters: The Rockets allowed a season low 11 shots on goal in Wednesday’s 5-4 home ice win over the Chilliwack Bruins. The Rockets previous season low was allowing 13 shots against the Kamloops Blazers Oct 30th in a 6-1 win…The Rockets 5 goal outburst Wednesday was the first time they managed to score five or more goals since a 8-2 win over Brandon February 14th….The Rockets struck for two power play goals in Wednesday’s win, marking the first time in four games the Rockets scored a power play goal….The Rockets have scored just two goals in the second period in their last seven games.…The Rockets have scored 240 goals this season, 84 more than a year ago…The Rockets and Giants have six shootout losses this season, tops in the Western Conference. Both Edmonton and Moose Jaw lead the league in shootout losses with seven. The Rockets were 6-10-0-1 in 17 games without Jamie Benn. When Benn scores the Rockets are 15-5-0-3.…The Rockets have scored a power play goal in 14 of their last 18 games….The Rockets have just three road wins in their last 10 games. The Rockets are (3-6-0-1) over that period…The Rockets are 7-7-0-0 in their last 14 home games…Kristofer Westblom has started in seven of the Rockets last 8 games…The Rockets are 12-12-0-2 since the trade deadline….The Rockets are 5 and 6 in the shootout this season with wins over Chilliwack, Edmonton, Seattle and Vancouver (twice). The Rockets have lost shootout games to Kamloops (twice), Moose Jaw (twice), Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. The Rockets have been held to a single goal 5 times at home and 7 times on the road this season. The Rockets have been shutout three times this year.
Games Played Ticker:
Brady Leavold: 198 Colin Long: 159 Dylan Hood: 108 Tyler Myers: 131
Cody Almond: 158 Brandon McMillan: 124 Myles MacRae: 182
Kyle St. Denis: 66 Evan Bloodoff: 126 Tysen Dowzak: 164
Lucas Bloodoff: 137 Luke Schenn: 187 Colin Joe: 246
Rockets vs. Divisions:
vs. BC: 21-12-0-2 vs. US: 7-9-2-0 vs. Central: 4-2-0-1 vs. East: 5-3-0-2
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:
March 15 vs. PG Rockets 2 Portland 1 W
Game #1 of Playoffs Rockets 1 Vancouver 5 L
Game #2 of Playoffs Rockets 0 Tri City 2 L
Game #3 of Playoffs Rockets 4 Chilliwack 3 SOW
Game #4 of Playoffs Rockets 5 Chilliwack 4 W
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 10-2-0-1 8-0-0-0 2-2-0-1
February: 11 3-7-0-1 2-5-0-0 1-2-0-1
March: 9 3-3-0-0 1-2-0-0 1-2-0-0
Rockets Season Highs and Lows:
Most Goals Scored: 11 @ Prince George Jan 11/08 in an 11-1 win.
Most Goals Allowed: 9 vs. Lethbridge February 1/08 in a 9-4 loss.
Most Power Play Chances: 11 @ Chilliwack Feb 2/08 in a 6-3 loss, @ 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: 11 vs. Chilliwack Mar 12/08 (5-4 W), 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: Dylan Hood fails to score Feb 16/08 in a 3-2 shootout win vs. Edmonton. Juuso Puustinen fails to score on Torrie Jung Feb 8/08 in a Rockets 2-1 shootout loss to the Blazers. 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: Cody Almond scores vs. Chilliwack Mar 7/08 in a 4-3 win. Colin Long scores vs. Giants Feb 24/08 in a 3-2 win. Tyson Barrie scores vs. Edmonton Feb in a 3-2 shootout win. 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)