Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets host the Prince Albert Raiders tonight. It’s the lone game between these two teams this season. It’s the Raiders first visit to Kelowna since a 4-1 win January 31/07. Last season the Rockets beat the Raiders on December 14/07 in Prince Albert courtesy of a 3-2 win. Following tonight’s game the Rockets are back on the road with a stop in Everett Friday night before visiting the T-Birds in Seattle on Saturday. The Rockets then visit the Bruins in Chilliwack Wednesday Oct 22nd before hosting the Bruins two night’s later. The Rockets enter tonight’s game undefeated at home, and have won two of their last three games.
Winning Big – Losing Big: In four of their five wins this season, the Rockets have scored no less than five times per game. The only win of the season where they failed to score five or more goals was in a 4-2 victory over Everett October 1st. In three of the team’s five losses this season they have given up 5 goals or more per game.
Home Cook’n: The Rockets are 3-0-0-0 at home this season, having out-scored the opposition 17-7. The Rockets are riding a five game home ice winning streak dating back to last season. The Rockets last home ice loss was a 2-0 setback to the Tri City Americans March 8/08.
Bernie’s Back: Raiders forward Justin Bernhardt will be familiar with Rockets fans. Bernhardt played 53 games in Kelowna, collecting 12 goals and 28 points. Bernhardt was dealt to the Raiders in the 2007-2008 season for a 4th round pick in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft. Bernhardt is playing in his 247th career WHL game tonight.
Let’s Make A Deal: They may be miles apart yet the Rockets and Raiders are no strangers to making trades with one another. Sending Justin Bernhardt to the Raiders for a 4th round bantam pick last November came after the two teams exchanged 50 goal scorers when Seth Leonard was dealt to Prince Albert for Jesse Schultz in January 2002. Schultz would score 53 times in 2002-2003 while Leonard scored 50 goals in 2003-2004. The Rockets also acquired Kelly Guard from the Raiders in June 2002.
That’s a Fact Jack: The Rockets have opened the scoring in three of the last four games…After going the first two regular season games without a goal, Jamie Benn has now scored goals in four of his last five games….Colin Long scored twice Saturday night against Prince George, giving him 50 for his career. Long has points in six of his first eight games this season. …Jesse Paradis has scored goals in back-to-back games…Rookie Adam Brown made his first WHL start Saturday against Prince George, making 11 saves in an 8-1 win…The Rockets have scored a power play goal in 9 of the team’s 10 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. Jamie Benn scored a goal with the specialty teams, but the goal was shorthanded….Kris Lazaruk has started 9 of the Rockets 10 games this season…Lazaruk leads the WHL in minutes played by a goaltender with 526 minutes. Edmonton’s Dalyn Flette is a close second with 513 minutes.
Who’s Hot – Who’s Not: Kyle St. Denis has 2+3=5 in his last three games. Colin Long has points in six of the eight games he’s played this season. Long has been held off the scoreboard by Lethbridge and Vancouver. Jamie Benn has 38 goals in just 58 career games. Benn has goals in four of his last five games. Benn has 5 goals over that stretch. Tyson Barrie has points in seven of his first ten games.
Dare to Compare: Last season the Rockets were 5-4-1-0 in their first ten games. The Rockets scored 30 goals in their first ten games last season. After ten games a year ago the Rockets had allowed 32 goals against. The Rockets are 2 and 5 on the road this season, having been out-scored 30-20. Last year after seven road games the Rockets were 4 and 3, yet were outscored 24-22.