Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and Rebels are meeting twice this season. Following tonight’s game the Rockets will again travel to Red Deer February 27th. The Rebels won’t visit Prospera Place this season. Tonight’s game is the first visit to Red Deer since January 27/07 when the Rockets wound up losing 2-0. James Reimer made 25 saves in the victory. The Rockets also fell 4-2 to the Rebels in a game earlier that season. On December 16/06 Brett Breitkreuz and Justin Bernhardt scored in the two goal loss. The last Rockets win in Red Deer came December 31/05 in a 3-1 victory. Clayton Bauer had a goal and an assist in the win. The Rockets had a three game road winning streak come to an end with a 4-3 loss in Calgary Sunday afternoon. Lucas Bloodoff, Stepan Novotny and Dylan Hood scored for the Rockets, who out-shot the Hitmen 25-21. Overall the Rockets have won 7 of their last 10 games. Tonight’s game is the second of three straight road games. The Rockets are in Edmonton tomorrow night. Following the Christmas break the team is back on the ice – at home – against the Kamloops Blazers on December 27th.
Team Canada: Jamie Benn and Tyler Myers have been selected to represent Canada at the world junior hockey championships in Ottawa. It’s the 7th time this decade that a Rockets representative has been named to that team. Rockets athletic therapist Jeff Thorburn is also on Team Canada’s medical staff. Who was the last Rockets player to play for Canada at the world juniors? Luke Schenn.
Stepan It Up: Rookie forward Stepan Novotny is in Brampton Ontario for the Czech Republic training camp for the upcoming world junior hockey championships. Novotny is one of 40 players attending the camp.
WHL Debut: Rockets 1st round bantam pick Shane McColgan makes his WHL debut tonight against the Rebels. McColgan was selected 13th overall in the 2008 draft and was the only American selected in round one. McColgan is just 15 years old and plays with the LA Junior Kings.
Call The Recruits: Sixteen year-old Brett Bulmer joined the team Monday for games tonight and Wednesday in Edmonton. Bulmer was an 11th rounder in 2007. Bulmer is 3rd in BC Major Midget League scoring with 19+15=34 in 22 games.
Who’s Hot: Colin Long has points in 10 of his last 11 games. Long has 3+13=16 over that period. Long is playing in his 192nd career game tonight. Cody Almond has 5+4=9 in his last nine games, yet hasn’t scored in 7 games. Almond is playing in his 191st career game tonight. Mitchell Callahan has 4 goals in his last seven games. Brandon McMillan has goals in two of his last four games. Dylan Hood’s goal Sunday against Calgary was his first in 7 games.
If You’re Wondering? Rockets forward Kyle St. Denis is missing his 18th straight game tonight with a broken wrist. The wrist was broken October 24th against the Chilliwack Bruins. The Rockets are 10-7-0-0 with St. Denis out of the lineup.
Broadcaster Tidbits: The Rockets have given up the first goal in three straight and four of their last five. The Rockets have not been shut out this season. The Rockets are 3-3-0-0 in six 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 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.