Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets play game three of a five game home-stand tonight against the Seattle Thunderbirds. It’s the second of four meetings between these two teams this season. The Rockets were a 3-2 winner over the T-Birds in Seattle back on October 18th. Colin Long, Stepan Novotny and Lucas Bloodoff scored goals for the Rockets, who out-shot the T-Birds 30-18. The Rockets were 1/7 on the power play while the T-Birds were 1 for 5. After tonight’s game the two teams meet again January 7th before closing out the seasonal series in Kent Washington on January 31/09. The Rockets had a five game home ice winning streak snapped Saturday night with a 3-2 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings. Jamie Benn and Tyson Barrie each scored power play goals in the setback. Kris Lazaruk suffered the loss in goal making 27 saves. Following tonight’s game the Rockets host Lethbridge Saturday night before a rare Sunday afternoon home date (5 pm) against the Edmonton Oil Kings. The Rockets next road game is Tuesday November 4th against the Tri City Americans.
Mr. Brown Without a Frown: Rockets rookie goaltender Adam Brown is 4-0-0-0 this season. Brown has wins over Seattle, Chilliwack (twice) and Prince George. Brown has recorded back-to-back shutouts and has not allowed a goal in 139 minutes and 4 seconds. The last goal Brown allowed was to Seattle’s Chris Cloud when the T-Bird forward scored a shorthanded goal at 19:56 of the second period on October 18th.
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. Benn is tied for the league lead in goals with 13.
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 5-1-0-0 at home this season, having out-scored the opposition 28-11. The Rockets had a seven game home ice winning streak snapped Saturday night. Prior to the loss to Brandon 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 27 goals with the extra man are one better than Calgary’s 26….Jamie Benn has 10 goals in his last 7 games. Benn has 10+6=16 over that period. Benn is riding a 7 game point streak over that period….Colin Long had a six game point streak snapped Saturday against Brandon. Long had 7 goals and 6 assists over that stretch.…Kyle St Denis has 5 goals in his last eight games and has 11 points in his last 6 contests, yet is out close to 6 weeks with a broken wrist suffered last Friday against Chilliwack…Colin Long enters tonight’s game with 154 career points and played in his 175th game Saturday vs. the Wheat Kings…The Rockets have scored a power play goal in 15 of the team’s 16 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 12 of the Rockets 16 games this season…Adam Brown has started in three of the last four. Brown is 4-0-0-0 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 seven of his last ten games. Almond has 4+4=8 over that period. Almond is playing in his 175th 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 46 goals in just 64 career games. Tyson Barrie has points in eleven of his first sixteen games.
Dare to Compare: Last season the Rockets were 8-6-1-1 in their first sixteen games. The Rockets scored 51 goals in their first sixteen games last season. After sixteen games a year ago the Rockets had allowed 50 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.