Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and Blazers are meeting for the 4th time this season. The Rockets are 3-0-0-0 having outscored the Blazers 16-6 in the first three games. This is only the second game for the Blazers at Prospera Place this season. On September 27th the Rockets earned a 5-4 win. Following tonight’s game these two teams won’t meet again until January 24th in Kamloops. Tonight the Rockets open a portion of their schedule playing eight of their next nine games on home ice. The only road game over that period is Monday with a date in Vancouver against the Giants. One night later the Rockets open a 7 game home stand against the Prince George Cougars. The Rockets enter tonight’s game coming off a 3-0 win in Edmonton December 17th. Kris Lazaruk made 31 saves in the victory, recording his 6th career shutout and third this season. Fifteen year-old Shane McColgan scored the game winner with his first WHL goal just 37 seconds into the hockey game. The Rockets were 0/5 on the power play while the Oil Kings were 0 for 7. The Oil Kings out-shot the Rockets 31-24.
Beating Up On BC: Excluding three losses to Vancouver this season, the Rockets have out-scored BC Division teams 56-14 and are 10-0-0-0 against those teams.
Looking Deeper: The Rockets three wins this season against the Blazers have been by scores of 5-4, 6-2 and 5-0. Kris Lazaruk has started all three games in goal for the Rockets. The Rockets power play is 8 for 24 in the three games (33.3%).The Rockets have out-scored the Blazers by period:
1 2 3 Total
Rockets: 3 7 6 16
Blazers: 3 1 2 6
Four Rockets @ World Juniors: Four members of the Rockets organization are at the world junior hockey championships in Ottawa. Jamie Benn and Tyler Myers are wearing Team Canada colours while athletic therapist Jeff Thorburn is a member of the Team Canada medical staff. Forward Stepan Novotny is playing for the Czech Republic.
Achieving Personal Best: Three Rockets have already reached personal bests. Colin Bowman has 1+11=12, which is three more points than the 2+7=9 he put up all of last season. Dylan Hood has 8+11=19 this season, which is one point better than the 10+8=18 he put up one season ago. Kyle Verdino has 0+11=11, which is a 7 point improvement from the 0+2=2 he had in his rookie campaign.
Broadcaster Tidbits: Evan Bloodoff has 5 goals after 34 games this season. Last year at this point the 18 year-old had 9 goals after 34 games …Kris Lazaruk has played 130 career games…The Rockets have given up the first goal in four of their last five games and five of their last seven.…Mitchell Callahan leads the Rockets in fighting majors with six. Tyler Myers has 5 fighting majors….The Rockets have scored 6 or more goals – eight times this season. The Rockets have managed to score 6 or more goals three times against the Cougars, with single game outbursts against Kamloops, Kootenay, Everett, Chilliwack and Seattle. Last season the Rockets scored 6 or more goals 12 times… The Rockets are 20-4-0-0 when they score 3 or more goals. The only three games where they’ve scored three or more goals and lost were 4-3 to Calgary, 5-3 to Vancouver, 8-6 to Everett and 7-3 to Lethbridge. The Rockets are 9-6-0-0 in games where they’ve allowed 3 or more goals.
If You’re Wondering? Rockets forward Kyle St. Denis is missing his 20th straight game tonight with a broken wrist. The wrist was broken October 24th against the Chilliwack Bruins. The Rockets are 11-8-0-0 with St. Denis out of the lineup.