- "You won't like me when I'm angry". I am not sure if those exact words came out of the mouth of Kelowna Rockets forward Jamie Benn over the course of last night's game, but the 19 year-old had a Hulk-like performance in a 6-1 road win over the Kamloops Blazers Tuesday night. Benn scored three times, leading the Rockets to their 30th win of the season and 500th as a franchise since it re-located to Kelowna for the start of the 1995-96 season.
- Benn scored once on the power play, once shorthanded and once even strength. Benn now has 34 goals on the season, one more than he had all of last season. In case your wondering, it's Benn's second career hat-trick. Benn had three goals against Lethbridge November 1st.
- It may have been Mikael Backlund's best game in a Rockets uniform. The 19 year-old, playing in just his 11th game, collecting a goal and an assist in the win. Backlund's goal may have been the best of the game, as he skated hard on right wing, protected the puck with his body, yet with a defenseman draped over him somehow lifted the puck high over the blocker side of Blazers goaltender Justin Leclerc.
- It was great to see Curt Gogol score his first WHL goal. Playing on the Rockets 4th line, Gogol did a nice job of winning a puck inside the Blazers zone and wiring one between the legs of Leclerc to make it 6-1. Gogol made it look like it was his 20th of the season instead of his first. It was simply nice to see a foot soldier be rewarded for his effort and hustle by getting a goal he will always remember. Gogol has done whatever it takes to be a regular, and it was nice to see him on the score-sheet.
- The Rockets effort Tuesday reminded me a bit of the Vancouver Giants. The Giants often let you play with them for a period or two, and then ramp up their game and bury you with their work ethic and skill in the third. The Rockets and Blazers were scoreless after one period, but the Rockets began to take over by scoring 6 unanswered after the home team opened the scoring early in the second frame. The Rockets allowed just 11 shots over the final 40 minutes while out-shooting the home team 14-2 in the final frame.
- The Rockets now have points in 6 straight games and moved 8 points up on the Blazers for 4th place in the Western Conference. The Rockets also have 3 games in hand.
- The Rockets played this game without Kyle St. Denis, who took the pre-game warm up. St. Denis will make his return Friday night against the Everett Silvertips. Forward Ian Duval will also return Friday from a concussion.
- Defenseman Aaron Borejko sat this one out with a upper body injury.
- Veteran Tysen Dowzak played in his 200th WHL game Tuesday night in Kamloops. Dowzak's first WHL goal came against the Kootenay Ice in his 17 year-old season. Two current NHL'ers assisted on his first goal. Blake Comeau (Islanders) and Alex Edler (Canucks) drew the assists.
- Pat Smith was the lone referee in this game, and he was solid. In my opinion Smith is a way better referee when he calls the game alone than under the two referee system. He didn't get involved and let the two teams be the focal point before being proactive once the play got chippy and the score got out of reach. I'll take the 'one referee Pat Smith' over the 'two referee Pat Smith' any day of the week.
- The Rockets are now 6-0-0-0 against the Blazers this season. Game seven of the 9 game seasonal series is Saturday night in Kelowna.
- Everett Silvertips head coach John Becanic and his players took in last night's game at Interior Savings Centre.I don't know who is a more personable coach, Becanic or Ryan Huska? Both realize that the media are not the enemy.
- The funny story of the night came off the ice where Rockets captain Colin Long mistakenly forgot his dress cloths back in Kelowna when the bus left Prospera Place. So Long was forced to call up Blazers forward C.J Stretch, a buddy of his, and asked him if he could bring down a suit that he could wear into the arena once he arrived. Despite the rivalry between the two teams, Stretch helped out his 'California cousin' and brought Long some dress clothes so he didn't look out of place. What a great guy! Who says the Rockets and Blazers can't get along. First the Rockets help the Blazers by providing transportation for their coach and players who are storm stayed in Vancouver following the Christmas break, and now they are sharing clothes with one another. What's next, a block-buster trade between the two teams?
Jamie Benn is named the games #1 star.
Any clue who these Rockets fans are? They wouldn't read this blog would they? Could this picture have been taken during a lacklustre first period? Truth be told, the pic was taken in the intermission. Your on candid camera.You don't see it often, but a female Zamboni driver is cleaning the ice at the Interior Saving Center. The same holds true in Kent Washington.