Friday, January 2, 2009

Game Notes vs. Chiefs

Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and Chiefs are meeting for the first of four times this season. These two teams met four times last year with the Rockets going 0-4-0-0. The Chiefs out-scored the Rockets 13-7 in the four games. The Rockets enter tonight’s game riding a six game winless streak against the Chiefs (0-5-0-1). The last regulation win against the Chiefs was November 8/06 in a 6-4 home ice win. Following tonight’s game these two teams meet again February 8th before closing out the seasonal series March 4th and March 15th with games at both Prospera Place and the Spokane Arena. The Rockets enter tonight’s game only three points back of the Chiefs for third place in the Western Conference. Both teams have played the same number of games (37) and have the same number of wins (22). The Rockets have scored 20 more goals than the Chiefs this season while Spokane has allowed 22 fewer against. Oddly enough the Rockets and Chiefs both have 14 home ice wins this season and 8 road victories. Following tonight’s game the Rockets host Moose Jaw tomorrow night before welcoming Seattle on Wednesday. This is game two of a seven game home stand for the Rockets, who don’t play on the road until January 16th in Prince George. The Rockets have not allowed a power play goal against in 4 of their last 5 games.

Last Game: Lucas Bloodoff scored power play goals in the second period in a 2-1 win over Prince George. The two teams were scoreless after 20 minutes, with the Rockets holding onto a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. The Rockets out-shot the Cougars 41-20 while going 2 for 8 on the power play. Adam Brown earned the win in goal for the Rockets.

Brownie Points: Rookie goaltender Adam Brown is a sparkling 11 and 3 this season, having won 4 of his last five starts. Over those five games Brown has allowed just 9 goals (1.8 per game), with the only loss coming in a 1-0 setback in Red Deer December 16th. Brown has allowed 4 goals in a game just once while allowing two goals or less in 8 of his 11 starts this season. Brown has the second best goals against average in the league (2.04) behind Spokane’s Dustin Tokarski (1.97). What’s also impressive is Brown’s save percentage of .907.

Home For the Holidays: The Rockets have won back-to-back home games and have wins in 4 of their last five home dates. The only stumble over that period was a 3-1 loss to Swift Current December 12th. The Rockets have not given up more than 4 goals a game at home this season and have scored four or more goals per game at Prospera Place – nine times. Only Vancouver (19) and Tri City (17) have more home wins than the Rockets in the Western Conference. The Rockets are giving up just 2.1 goals per game on home ice this season. Only Spokane is better at 1.79 goals allowed per home game. Tri City is at 2.15 while Vancouver is at 2.33 goals per home game.

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 – is playing in game 165 tonight – 45 career points
Jamie Benn - two shy of 80 games played (78 games currently played) – 110 career points
Cody Almond - 5 games shy of 200 (195 games currently played) – 130 career points
Dylan Hood – 6 games shy of 150 (144 games currently played) – 39 career points
Lucas Bloodoff – playing in 175th career game tonight - 78 career points
Brandon McMillan – 3 games shy of 165 (162 games currently played) - 78 career points
Colin Long – 4 shy of 200 games (196 games currently played) – 183 career points
Tyson Barrie – 79 career points
Tysen Dowzak – Played in 188th game tonight vs. Spokane.
Jesse Paradis – Played in 75th career game Tuesday vs. Prince George.

If You’re Wondering? Rockets forward Kyle St. Denis is missing his 23rd straight game tonight with a broken wrist. The wrist was broken October 24th against the Chilliwack Bruins. The Rockets are 13-9-0-0 with St. Denis out of the lineup.

Broadcaster Tidbits: The Rockets have scored 8 goals in their last three games. Of those eight goals, 6 have been scored on the power play…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 Rockets are 9-6-0-0 in games where they’ve allowed 3 or more goals.

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