Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets conclude a four game road trip tonight with a stop in Vancouver. The Rockets are 1-2-0-0 in the first three games of the trip after a 4-1 loss last Friday in Medicine Hat, a 7-3 loss Saturday in Lethbridge and a 6-3 win in Cranbrook Sunday. Overall the Rockets have been out-scored 14-10 during the three games. Tonight’s game wraps up a schedule where the Rockets have played 7 of their first 9 games on opposition ice. The Rockets host the Prince George Cougars tomorrow night. The Rockets and Giants are meeting for the first of eight times this season. The two teams face each other again on November 12th at Prospera Place. Last season the Rockets were 3-2-0-0 in Vancouver, out-scoring the Giants 17-14 at Pacific Coliseum. After losing the first game in Vancouver last season, the Rockets won three of the remaining four games.
Seasonal Series vs. Giants in 08/09
Nov 12/08 Jan 21/09 Tonight Nov 14/09
Feb 13/09 Mar 7/09 Dec 29/08 Feb 20/09
Dowzak Done: The Rockets learned Wednesday that twenty year-old defenseman Tysen Dowzak had signed a pro contract with the Hartford WolfPack. The WolfPack are the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers. Dowzak was the Rockets 6th round pick in the 2003 WHL bantam draft and played 166 games in Kelowna. While he only managed 24 career points, the defensive defenseman was rewarded with three free-agent tryouts with Minnesota, Philadelphia and the Rangers before signing a pro deal. Dowzak’s departure leaves the Rockets with just one 20 year-old. That overage player is goaltender Kris Lazaruk.
That’s a Fact Jack: The Rockets have opened the scoring in back-to-back games…After going the first two regular season games without a goal, Jamie Benn has now scored goals in three straight games. Two of those three goals have been shorthanded….Colin Long is two goals shy of 50 for his career. Long has 48 career goals heading into tonight’s game….Long has points in five of his first 6 games this season. Long was held off the score sheet Saturday in a 7-3 loss in Lethbridge…The Rockets have scored the most power play goals in the WHL this season (14)…The Rockets have had the third most power play chances in the WHL this season (52). Only Kootenay (64) and Red Deer (53) have had more chances with the extra man….The Rockets have played the most road games in the Western Conference this season (6). Medicine Hat and Red Deer have also played six times on opposition ice.
Who’s Hot – Who’s Not: Colin Long has four goals in his last six games. Jamie Benn has points in all five games he’s played this season. Benn has 3+2=5. Tyson Barrie has points in six of his first eight games.
Dare to Compare: Last season the Rockets were 4-3-1-0 in their first eight games. The Rockets scored 26 goals in their first eight games. After eight games last season the Rockets had allowed 26 goals against. The Rockets are 2 and 4 on the road this season, having been out-scored 23-19. Last year after six road games the Rockets were 3 and 3, yet were outscored 21-18.
Broadcasters Tidbits: The Rockets have the second youngest defensive core in the WHL (17.33 years) with Moose Jaw leading the way with an average age of 17.25….The Rockets defensive core has played the 3rd fewest games of any of the 22 teams in the WHL. The Rockets have 386 games combined on the blue line, just slightly better than Moose Jaw’s 366 games played and Edmonton’s 281….. Rookie Stepan Novotny had his first multiple point game of his career Saturday night with a goal and an assist….Curt Gogol earned his first career point, an assist on Novotny’s goal in the 3rd period…Kyle Verdino has three points this season, surpassing his point total of two when he played 32 games last season.
Kyle St. Denis played in his 75th game last Saturday against Lethbridge. St. Denis has 49 career points.
Colin Long is playing in his 168th game tonight. Long has 141 career points and 48 career goals.
Evan Bloodoff is playing in his 137th game tonight.
Brandon McMillan is playing in his 134th career game tonight.
Tyson Barrie has 53 career points and is playing in his 80th career game tonight.
Rockets Schedule - Next 5 Games: Rockets Results - Last 5 Games:
Oct 11 vs. Cougars Rockets 5 Blazers 4 W
Oct 15 vs. Raiders Rockets 4 Tips 2 W
Oct 17 @ Everett Rockets 1 Tigers 4 L
Oct 18 @ Seattle Rockets 3 Hurricanes 7 L
Oct 22 @ Chilliwack Rockets 6 Kootenay 3 W
Rockets Players by Province: BC=9 US=5 ALB=5 SASK=1 MAN=1 EURO=2 Total=23
Rockets Season Highs and Lows:
Most Goals Scored: 6 @ Cranbrook Oct Oct 5/08 (6-3 W) Kamloops Sept 26/08 (6-2 W)
Most Goals Allowed: 7 @ Hurricanes Oct 4/08 (7-3L)
Most Power Play Chances: 11 @ Kamloops Sept 26/08 – Rockets were 4 for 11
Most Power Play Goals Scored: 4 @ Kamloops Sept 26/08 (6-2 W)
Most Power Play Goals Allowed: 3 @ Hurricanes Oct 4/08 (7-3L)
Most Shots Taken: 40 @ Kamloops Sept 26/08 (6-2 W)
Fewest Shots Taken: 27 vs. Everett Oct 1/08 @ Tri Sept 21/08
Most Shot Allowed: 33 @ Tri Sept 21
Fewest Shots Allowed: 17 @ Portland Sept 22/08
Last Shutout: NA
Last Time Shutout: NA
Penalty Shots: NA
Shootout Game Winning Goals: NA
vs. BC: 1-0-0-0 vs. US: 1-2-0-0
vs. Central: 1-2-0-0 vs. East: 0-0-0-0
Player total: 23
Year by Year Breakdown:
20’s – 1 Lazaruk
19’s – 6 Long, Benn, Almond, L. Bloodoff, Schenn
18’s – 7 E. Bloodoff, McMillan, McIntosh, Myers, Novotny, St. Denis, Hood
17’s – 9 Barrie, Brown, Verdino, Gogol, Borejko, Bowman, Callahan, Matejka, Paradis
16’s – 1 Main
Average Age: 17.7
Rookies – 7
Record by Month:
Month Games Record Home Road
September: 4 1-2-0-0 0-0-0-0 1-2-0-0
October: 13 2-2-0-0 1-0-0-0 1-2-0-0
November: 10 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
December: 10 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
January: 14 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
February: 14 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
March: 7 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0
NHL Draft Picks-Training Camp Attendees: Luke Schenn (Leafs 08), Tyler Myers (Sabres 08), Colin Long (Coyotes 08), Brandon McMillan (Ducks 08), Jamie Benn (Dallas 07), Cody Almond (Minnesota 07), Lucas Bloodoff (Tryout Lightning 08).
Game Notes Compiled by
AM-1150’s Regan Bartel