Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and Giants are meeting for the 4th of 8 times this season. The Rockets are 0-3-0-0 against their BC Division rivals having been out-scored 15-5 in the first three games. This is the Rockets third stop in Vancouver this season after losing previous games by scores of 7-1 and 5-3. The last win for Kelowna at Pacific Coliseum was February 24/08 in a 3-2 shootout win. Overall the Rockets are 4-3-0-0 in their last seven games in Vancouver. Following tonight’s contest these two teams won’t see each other until January 21st in Kelowna. The Rockets are coming off a 4-3 shootout win Saturday night over the Kamloops Blazers. Cody Almond scored the game winner in the shootout. Colin Long (2+1=3) and Brandon McMillan (1+2=3) led the Rockets attack while Kris Lazaruk earned the win in goal. The Rockets out-shot the Blazers 42-14. Excluding three losses to Vancouver this season, the Rockets have out-scored BC Division teams 60-17 and are 11-0-0-0.
Digging Deeper: The Rockets are 3 for 17 (17.6%) on the power play in the three games against the Giants this season. Conversely the Giants are 8 for 21 (38.1%) with the extra man in the three games.
High Five: Kelowna Rockets forward Colin Long registered his 5th – 2 goal game of the season Saturday night against Kamloops. That matches the total he set last season where he registered five-2 goal games. Over his career Long has 11-two goal games.
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.
Milestones Within Reach:
Evan Bloodoff - 2 games shy of 165 (163 games currently played) – 44 career points
Jamie Benn - two shy of 80 games played (78 games currently played) – 110 career points
Cody Almond - 7 games shy of 200 (193 games currently played) – 129 career points
Dylan Hood – 8 games shy of 150 (142 games currently played) – 39 career points
Lucas Bloodoff – 2 games shy of 175 (172 games currently played) – 76 career points
Brandon McMillan – 5 games shy of 165 (160 games currently played) - 77 career points
Colin Long – 6 shy of 200 games (194 games currently played) – 181 career points
Tyson Barrie – 78 career points
Tysen Dowzak – 1 games shy of 185 (184 games currently played) – 23 career points
Jesse Paradis – 2 games shy of 75 games (73 games currently played)
Noteworthy Digits: Five of Dylan Hood‘s 8 goals this season have been scored on the road. Ten of Lucas Bloodoff’s 18 points this season have been registered on home ice. Of the 52 goals Cody Almond has scored over his career, 25 (48.1%) have been scored on opposition ice. Fifteen of Colin Long’s 19 goals this season have been scored at Prospera Place. Six of Brandon McMillan’s eight goals have been scored this season on the road.
Top Four On Average:
Jamie Benn: Averaging 1.41 points per game over career (Chuck Kobasew averaged 1.13)
Colin Long: Averaging 0.92 points per game over career
Tyson Barrie: Averaging 0.76 points per game over career
Cody Almond: Averaging 0.67 points per game over career
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: Kris Lazaruk has played 131 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 21st straight game tonight with a broken wrist. The wrist was broken October 24th against the Chilliwack Bruins. The Rockets are 12-8-0-0 with St. Denis out of the lineup.