Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets have won six of their last nine games heading into tonight’s contest against the Vancouver Giants. It’s the third of eight meetings between these two teams this season. They met Wednesday in Kelowna with the Giants earning a 3-1 win. The two teams exchanged goals in the first period before skating into the final period tied at one. In the third the Giants would get back-to-back goals less than five minutes apart in the two goal win. The Rockets out-shot the visitors 37-24. The Rockets were 0 for 5 on the power play. The loss snapped the Rockets three game home ice winning streak. Following tonight’s game the Rockets are in Kamloops tomorrow night before hosting Tri City on Wednesday. The Rockets begin a portion of their schedule tonight playing four of their next five games on home ice.
It Doesn't Happen Often: Forwards Colin Long and Jamie Benn have failed to register a point in back-to-back games. Long’s longest pointless streak last season was three games. Benn was shutout in back-to-back games five times last season…Rookie goaltender Adam Brown suffered his first loss of the season Wednesday night in a 3-1 setback to the Giants. Brown had won his first 7 games…The Rockets have failed to score a power play goal in back-to-back games. The Rockets are 0 for 8 over that period. The last power play goal was scored by Colin Long in a 5-2 win over Edmonton November 2nd….Benn and Long have combined for 40% of the team’s offense this season. Benn and Long have 61 points combined. The remaining players on the roster have 153 points combined.
Lack of Success: The Rockets are 3 and 7 in their last ten appearances at Pacific Coliseum. In those 10 games the Rockets have scored just 19 goals, or an averaged of just 1.9 goals per game. The Giants on the other hand have scored 43 goals over that period, or an average of 4.3 goals per game.
Power with the Power Play: The Rockets have scored 31 goals with the power play this season. Overall the team has scored 80 times; meaning 38.8 % of their goals have been scored with the extra man.
‘Benn’-fitting From the Power Play: Rockets forward Jamie Benn has 32 points this season. Of those 32 points, 16 of those points (50%) have been earned with the extra man. When Benn scores the Rockets are 8-4-0-0.
No Shootout/No OT: The Rockets have failed to play a game this season that has gone either to overtime or a shootout. The last overtime game the Rockets were involved in that ended in a decision was December 15/07 in a 3-2 overtime win in Saskatoon. Jamie Benn scored the game winner. The last time the Rockets were involved in a shootout was March 9/08 in a 4-3 shootout win in Chilliwack. Tyson Barrie technically scored the game winning goal in that contest. The Rockets were involved in 11 shootout games last season. Kelowna is joined by Portland and Saskatoon as the only three teams not involved in a shootout this season.
Schedule Maker: The Rockets play 13 more games before Christmas. Six of those games are on home ice. The seven road games include dates in Prince George (twice), tonight in Vancouver, Kamloops, Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton.
Two Head to A-D-T: Jamie Benn and Tyler Myers have been named to team WHL, which will face the Russians in the A-D-T Canada/Russia Challenge next month. Games will be played in Swift Current and Prince Albert Saskatchewan.
Who’s Hot – Who’s Not: Jamie Benn has goals in 6 of his last eight games. That’s 10 goals over that period. Colin Long has points in 9 of his last 12. Long has 9 goals and 11 assists = 20 pts over that stretch. Cody Almond has points in eleven of his last fifteen games. Almond has 6+6=12 over that period.
Home Cook’n: The Rockets are 8-2-0-0 at home this season, having out-scored the opposition 45-22. The only losses at home this season were a 3-1 setback to Vancouver and a 3-2 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings October 25th.