Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and Tigers are meeting for the second and final time this season. These two teams met way back on October 3/08 in Medicine Hat, with the Tigers earning a 4-1 win. Jamie Benn scored the lone goal for the Rockets, who were out-shot 30-28. Linden Vey had a three point night (1+2=3) for the Tigers, who were 1 for 5 on the power play. The Rockets were 0 for 5 with the extra man. The last time the Tigers were at Prospera Place was December 5/07 in a 4-3 overtime loss. Tyler Myers scored the game winner at the 3:58 mark of the extra session. The last win for the Tigers in Kelowna was January 14/06 in a 4-0 shutout victory. The Tigers scored three times in the first period in the win. Matt Keetley made 27 saves in the shutout. Following tonight’s game the Rockets are in Seattle to face the T-Birds tomorrow night before heading to Kamloops on Wednesday. The Rockets next home game is next Friday against the Everett Silvertips.
Last Game: The Rockets have won two straight after a 4-1 win over Prince George Wednesday night. Jamie Benn scored once and added an assist in the team’s 28th win of the season. Colin Long, Stepan Novotny and Cody Almond added singles. Mark Guggenberger made 14 saves in the win. The Rockets out-shot the Cougars 33-15. The Rockets were 2 for 5 on the power play. The Cougars were 1 for 5. The win was the Rockets second straight, with points now in four of their last five games.
Power To The People: The Rockets power play is 7 for 13 in their last three games (54%). The Rockets have scored two or more power play goals in three straight games. The last time the Rockets were held without a power play goal was in a 3-2 shootout loss in Prince George January 17th.
Shooting Out The Lights: The Rockets have averaged 38 shots on goal in their last five games. That includes a 43 shot effort January 17th in Prince George. The last time the Rockets were held from recording 30+ shots were in a 3-2 win over the Tri City Americans January 14th. The Rockets generated 24 shots in that game.
Trade Deadline Transition: The Rockets are 3-3-0-2 in eight games since trade deadline day. The Rockets have scored 27 goals in those eight games (3.4), yet have given up 28 goals (3.5) over that period.
Almond=Outstanding: Cody Almond doesn’t want the month of January to end. Almond has goals in 8 of 11 games during the month, with points in 10 of those 11 games. Almond has 10 goals in his last 10 games.
New Faces Contribute: Mikael Backlund has 2+4=6 in his first seven games. Ian Duval has 4+6=10 in his first seven games with the Rockets. Riley Grantham has 0+2=2 in his first 6 games, including two fighting majors. Goaltender Mark Guggenberger is 3-2-0-1 with the Rockets including a 4-1 win over Prince George, a 3-2 win over Tri City and a 5-2 win in Kamloops.
Rockets Ramblings: Jamie Benn has four goals in seven games since returning from the world junior hockey championships. While the Rockets sit five points up on Kamloops for 4th place in the Western Conference, the Rockets have played 4 fewer games.
Who’s Hot: Ian Duval has goals in seven of his last ten games. In the big picture Duval has 15 goals in his last 21 games. Brandon McMillan has 5+8=13 in his last 13 games. Tyson Barrie has 2+5=7 in his last nine games. Colin Long has points in 10 of his last 13 games (5+10=15). Tyler Myers has points in 5 of his last 7 seven games. Myers has 1 goal and 6 assists over that period.
By The Numbers: Since re-locating to Kelowna from Tacoma for the start of the 1995-96 season, the Rockets have played 985 regular season games. The Rockets have won 498 times while based in Kelowna.
Streaking @ Home: The Rockets have won seven of their last ten home games and have wins in 9 of their last 13 home dates. The only stumbles over that period were a 6-4 loss to Vancouver, a 4-3 setback to Prince George, 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 – thirteen times.
St. Denis Still Sidelined: Rockets forward Kyle St. Denis is missing his 35th straight game tonight with a broken wrist. The wrist was broken October 24th against the Chilliwack Bruins. The Rockets are 19-13-0-2 with St. Denis out of the lineup.
Broadcaster Tidbits: 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 26-6-0-1 when they score 3 or more goals. The Rockets are 10-10-0-2 in games where they’ve allowed 3 or more goals.