Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets have won four of their last five games heading into tonight’s contest against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. This is the fourth game of a five game home-stand for the Rockets, who are 2-1-0-0 with wins over Chilliwack (6-0) and Seattle (7-3) and a loss to Brandon (3-2). The Rockets are coming off a 7-3 win over Seattle Wednesday. Colin Long, Jamie Benn and Lucas Bloodoff combined for 11 points in the win. Long and Benn each had a goal and three assists while Bloodoff had two goals and a helper. Kris Lazaruk started the game in goal before being relieved of his duties by Adam Brown in the second period. Following tonight’s game the Rockets host the Edmonton Oil Kings in a rare Sunday afternoon home game. It’s the only Sunday game the Rockets will play at home this season. Tonight’s game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes is the second meeting of the season between the two teams. These two teams met in Lethbridge back on October 4th with the Hurricanes earning a 7-3 win.
Numbing Numbers: Lucas Bloodoff’s three point night (2+1=3) against the Seattle Thunderbirds wasn’t the first time the Rockets forward has managed the feat. Bloodoff had 2+1=3 October 30/07 against the Kamloops Blazers…Jamie Benn’s four points (1+3=4) Wednesday night was the 4th time in his career he’s managed 4 points. Benn had a 6 point night 2+4=6 against the Prince George Cougars on January 18/08 of last season…Colin Long’s four point effort (1+3=4) Wednesday wasn’t a career high. Long had five points against Brandon (2+3=5) and Portland (0+5=5) last season....Benn has 12-2 goal games in his career, yet has never recorded a hattrick.
Mr. Brown Without a Frown: Rockets rookie goaltender Adam Brown is 5-0-0-0 this season. Brown has wins over Seattle (twice), Chilliwack (twice) and Prince George. Brown is the first Rockets rookie goaltender in franchise history to win the first five games he’s started. Brown was granted a free-agent tryout with the Rockets after playing midget hockey last season in Dallas Texas. Brown was originally listed by the Lethbridge Hurricanes, but was dropped because he told them he didn’t want to play there.
Two Head to ADT: Jamie Benn and Tyler Myers have been named to team WHL, which will face the Russians in the ADT Canada/Russia Challenge next month. Games will be played in Swift Current and Prince Albert Saskatchewan.
Benn P-O-W: Rockets forward Jamie Benn is the Western Hockey League Player of the Week. Benn had 9 points in three games last week, helping the Rockets to a record of 2-1-0-0. Benn had 5 goals and 4 assists and was a +1 over those three games.
Cap’n Colin: The Rockets announced last Thursday that 19 year-old Colin Long has been named the captain for 2008-2009. Long becomes the 17th captain in Rockets history. Long’s assistants are Jamie Benn, Cody Almond and Lucas Bloodoff. Long was the Rockets 11th round pick in the 2004 WHL draft.
Home Cook’n: The Rockets are 6-1-0-0 at home this season, having out-scored the opposition 35-14. The Rockets had a seven game home ice winning streak snapped last Saturday night with a 3-2 setback to Brandon. Prior to the loss, the Rockets last setback at home was a 2-0 loss to the Tri City Americans March 8/08.
That’s a Fact Jack: The Rockets have scored the most power play goals in the WHL this season. The Rockets have scored 29 goals with the extra man…Jamie Benn has 11 goals in his last 8 games. Benn has 11+9=20 over that period. Benn is riding a 8 game point streak over that period….Colin Long enters tonight’s game with 158 career points and played in his 177th career game tonight…The Rockets have scored a power play goal in 16 of the team’s 17 games this season. The only game where the Rockets were held off the score-sheet with the extra man was in a 4-1 loss in Medicine Hat…Kris Lazaruk has started 13 of the Rockets 17 games this season…Adam Brown has started in three of the last five. Brown is 5-0-0-0 as a starter….The Rockets have played in just four-one goal game this season. Those games were a 3-2 win against Seattle, a 2-1 loss in Portland in game #2, a 5-4 win in game #4 and a 3-2 loss to Brandon Saturday night…Tyson Barrie leads the WHL in scoring by defenseman. Barrie has 20 points. Fifteen of Barrie’s 20 points this season have been on the power play (5+10=15).
Who’s Hot – Who’s Not: Cody Almond has points in eight of his last eleven games. Almond has 4+5=9 over that period. Almond is playing in his 176th career game tonight. Kyle St. Denis has 5+8=13 in his last eight games. Colin Long has been held off the scoreboard by Brandon, Lethbridge and Vancouver this season. Jamie Benn has 47 goals in just 65 career games. Tyson Barrie has points in eleven of his first seventeen games. Kyle Verdino, Collin Bowman and Kyle St. Denis lead the Rockets with a +6 rating.
Dare to Compare: Last season the Rockets were 9-6-1-1 in their first seventeen games. The Rockets scored 55 goals in their first seventeen games last season. After seventeen games a year ago the Rockets had allowed 53 goals against. The Rockets are 4 and 6 on the road this season, having been out-scored 40-34. Last year after ten road games the Rockets were 6-3-0-1, and outscored the opposition 35-27.