Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and Cougars are meeting for the 5th time this season. The Rockets are 4-0-0-0, having out-scored Prince George 23-7. Adam Brown has started in goal in all four games against the Cougars this season. These two teams last met December 30th in Kelowna in a 2-1 Rockets win. Lucas Bloodoff scored both goals for the Rockets, who out-shot the Cougars 41-20. Tonight’s game is the sixth of a seven game home stand for the Rockets, who beat Portland 5-4 last night in a shootout. The Rockets host Tri City on Wednesday. The Rockets are 4-1-0-0 on the current home stand after a 5-4 shootout win over Portland, a 5-2 win over Seattle, a 2-1 victory over Prince George, a 3-0 win over Spokane, and a 5-2 loss to Moose Jaw. The Rockets have not allowed a power play goal against in 7 of their last 9 games. The Rockets have won five of seven games following the Christmas break.
Period-By-Period Scoring Breakdown:
1 2 3 Total
Rockets 9 12 2 23
Cougars 2 2 3 7
Power Play In Seasonal Series:
Rockets: 3/21 (14.3%)
Cougars: 1/12 (8.3%)
Last Game:. Brandon McMillan scored the game winning goal in the shootout in a 5-4 win over the Portland Winter Hawks. The Hawks built up a 2-0 second period lead only to see the Rockets score goals from Cody Almond and Tyson Barrie to tie the game at two. Stepan Novotny and Cody Almond, with his second of the game, would score in regulation. Three of the Rockets four goals were scored on the power play. Novotny and McMillan would score in the shootout, as the Rockets won for the 25th time this season and moved into sole possession of 3rd place in the Western Conference, a point up on Spokane and within 8 points of second place Tri City.
Rockets Add Muscle: The Rockets acquired 20 year-old Ryley Grantham and a 5th round bantam pick in the 2011 WHL draft Thursday in exchange for 18 year-old forward Dylan Hood. Grantham is a 6th round pick of the NHL’s Calgary Flames. Grantham was listed by the Warriors as a 15 year-old.
Who’s Hot: Brandon McMillan has 2+6=8 in his last 7 games. Tyson Barrie has 2+3=5 in his last three games. Colin Long has points in 7 of his last 8 games (2+8=10). Lucas Bloodoff has goals in four of his last five games. Bloodoff has 6 goals over that period. Cody Almond is riding a four game point streak with 4 goals and 4 assists over that period. Tysen Dowzak has not scored a goal in 99 straight games. His last goal was March 2, 2007 against the Prince George Cougars.
By The Numbers: Since re-locating to Kelowna from Tacoma for the start of the 1995-96 season, the Rockets have played 977 regular season games. The Rockets have won 495 games in Kelowna.
Brownie Points: Rookie goaltender Adam Brown is a sparkling 13 and 3 this season, having won 6 of his last 7 starts. Over those seven games Brown has allowed just 15 goals (2.14 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 twice while allowing two goals or less in 9 of his 13 starts this season. Brown has the fourth best goals against average in the league (2.12). What’s also impressive is Brown’s save percentage of .904.
Streaking @ Home: The Rockets have won five of their last six home games and have wins in 7 of their last 9 home dates. The only stumbles over that period were a 5-2 loss to Moose Jaw and a 3-1 loss to Swift Current December 12th. The Rockets have scored four or more goals per game at Prospera Place – eleven times.
Milestones Within Reach:
Jamie Benn – one game shy of 80 games played (79 games currently played) – 111 career points
Cody Almond - 1 games shy of 200 (199 games currently played) – 137 career points
Lucas Bloodoff – played in 175th career game January 2nd vs. Spokane – 85 career points
Brandon McMillan – Played in 165th game Wednesday against Seattle – 82 career points
Colin Long – Played in 200th WHL game last night vs. Portland. – 186 career points
Tyson Barrie – 84 career points
Tysen Dowzak – Playing in 192nd game tonight.
Jesse Paradis – Playing in 80th career game tonight.
St. Denis Still Sidelined: Rockets forward Kyle St. Denis is missing his 27th straight game tonight with a broken wrist. The wrist was broken October 24th against the Chilliwack Bruins. The Rockets are 16-10-0-0 with St. Denis out of the lineup.
Broadcaster Tidbits: The Rockets have scored 20 goals in their last six games. Of those 16 goals, just nine 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 23-4-0-0 when they score 3 or more goals. The Rockets are 10-7-0-0 in games where they’ve allowed 3 or more goals.