Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets have won 7 of their last 8 games heading into tonight’s contest. This is the one and only meeting of the season between the Rockets and Broncos. These two teams met once last season – in Swift Current – with the Broncos recording a 4-0 win. Mark Guggenberger made 30 saves January 25/08. In the Broncos last appearance in Kelowna, Travis Yonkman made 23 saves in the Broncos 1-0 shootout victory October 4/06. Kyle Bortis scored the game winner. Technically the Rockets have not scored a goal on the Broncos in 127 minutes 9 seconds. The last Rockets player to score a goal against the Broncos was Clayton Bauer into an empty net on December 14/05 in a 6-3 win. Tonight’s contest is the Rockets final home game before Christmas and the finale of five straight games on home ice. The Rockets are coming off a 5-2 win over the Chilliwack Bruins last Saturday. The two teams were tied at 2 heading into the third period before the Rockets would score 3 unanswered goals in their 19th win of the season. The Rockets are 3-1-0-0 on this five game home stand with wins over Chilliwack (twice) and Regina. The only loss over that period was a 4-2 setback to Saskatoon. Following tonight’s game the Rockets are on the road with stops in Calgary (Sunday afternoon), Red Deer (Tues) and Edmonton (Wed) to close out the pre-Christmas schedule. After the break the Rockets return home to face the Kamloops Blazers on December 27th.
Three Amigo’s Head East: Three members of the Kelowna Rockets are in Ottawa for Team Canada’s training camp in preparation for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships. Jamie Benn and Tyler Myers are two of 38 players vying for a spot on this year’s team while Athletic Therapist Jeff Thorburn is a member of the Team Canada medical staff.
Benn and Myers: Jamie Benn has never competed internationally for Canada. Myers has played for Canada at the Under 18 Championship, under current world junior coach Pat Quinn. Thorburn isn’t the first Rockets athletic therapist to be named to Team Canada. Scott Hoyer was a part of Team Canada’s staff in 2002 under then head coach Marc Habscheid.
Who’s Hot: Colin Long has points in 8 of his last 9 games. Long has 2+12=14 over that period. Long is playing in his 190th career game tonight. Cody Almond has 5+4=9 in his last eight games. Almond is playing in his 189th career game tonight. Lucas Bloodoff’s goal Saturday was his first in 7 games. Mitchell Callahan has 4 goals in his last five games. Brandon McMillan has goals in back-to-back games.
If You’re Wondering? Rockets forward Kyle St. Denis is missing his 16th straight game tonight with a broken wrist. The wrist was broken October 24th against the Chilliwack Bruins. The Rockets are 10-5-0-0 with St. Denis out of the lineup.
Broadcaster Tidbits: The Rockets are 3-2-0-0 in five games against Central Division teams this season. The Rockets three wins came against Lethbridge, Edmonton and Kootenay and the two losses were to Lethbridge and Medicine Hat…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 longest winning streak last season was 7 games. That streak took place between December 31/07 and January 12/08…The Rockets have 8 power play goals in their last ten games. That’s 8 goals in their last 50 chances…Ryan Huska coached in his 100th game last Wednesday against Saskatoon. The Rockets are 19-3-0-0 when they score 3 or more goals. The only three games where they’ve scored three or more goals and lost were 5-3 to Vancouver, 8-6 to Everett and 7-3 to Lethbridge. The Rockets are 9-5-0-0 in games where they’ve allowed 3 or more goals.