Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets return home after a three game road trip to host the Portland Winterhawks tonight. These two teams met four days ago in Portland with the Hawks earning a one goal win. This is the second of four games between these two teams this season. They meet again on January 15th before closing out the seasonal series February 20th in Portland. The Rockets are riding a three game winning streak on home ice, having out-scored their opponent 10-5. The last loss at home was a 4-3 setback to Spokane October 30th. Following tonight’s game the Rockets play back-to-back games in Prince George and enter a stretch of games playing 4 of their next five on the road. The only home game over that stretch is November 28th against Kootenay.
Digging Deeper: The Rockets were 2-0-0-0 against the Hawks on home ice last season. The Rockets won both games 6-2 and 5-4 in a shootout. The Rockets are riding a 7 game winning streak against the Hawks at home. The last win by Portland at Prospera Place was September 24, 2005 in a 6-3 win. Brandon Dubinsky was named the first star by scoring twice and adding two assists.
Rockets make trade: The Rockets acquired 19 year-old Geordie Wudrick from the Swift Current Broncos Monday for 19 year-old Stepan Novotny and prospect Tanner Clark. Clark was the Rockets 3rd round bantam pick in 2008. It’s the fourth trade between the Broncos and Rockets in the last three seasons.
Last Game Recap: The Kelowna Rockets were shutout for the first time this season in a 1-0 loss Sunday in Spokane. James Reid made 26 saves in the win. Adam Brown took the loss making 20 saves. The Rockets were 0 for 3 on the power play while the Chiefs were 0 for 2.
Representing the ‘Dub’: Two members of the Rockets will play for the WHL when a touring Russian team makes a stop in Victoria and Kelowna next month as part of the Subway Super Series. Brandon McMillan will be joined by teammate Tyson Barrie. McMillan will play in the game in Kelowna on November 26th while Barrie will play in both games. Ryan Huska is an assistant coach for both games along with Giants bench boss Don Hay. Rockets athletic therapist Jeff Thorburn is part of the Team Canada training staff for both games.
Power Outage: The Rockets have gone back-to-back games without a power play goal. The Rockets were 0 for 3 against Spokane Sunday and failed to score on 4 chances against Portland Saturday night. The Rockets scored two power play goals in a 4-2 loss in Everett on Friday. Despite the recent slide, the Rockets have scored a power play goal in eighteen of the twenty-three games this season.
Who’s Hot – Who’s Not: Brandon McMillan has points in thirteen of the sixteen games he’s played this season. McMillan has 7+17=24 this season and has five goals in his last nine games. Shane McColgan has points in 15 of his last 20 games. McColgan has 6+17=23 over that period. McColgan has a point in 16 of the 23 games he’s played this season. McColgan has not scored a goal in eleven games. His last goal was October 23rd in Tri City. Kyle St. Denis is four goals shy of his career high of 16 set two seasons ago. St. Denis had a four game goal scoring streak snapped Sunday. St. Denis has 8 goals in his last 12 games. Geordie Wudrick has gone 11 games without a goal. His last goal was October 21st vs. Kamloops.
Game Day Tidbits: The Rockets have been involved in eleven-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 5-5-1-0 in those eleven games…Kyle St. Denis leads the team with 7 power play goals….Mitchell Callahan is a team high +8….Curt Gogol collected his 200th career WHL penalty minute Friday night in Everett. Gogol now has 215 career WHL penalty minutes. ..Shane McColgan and Brandon McMillan have a team high 18 assist…McColgan is two points back of Medicine Hat’s Emerson Item for the WHL scoring lead by rookies…Tyson Barrie is riding a 10 game point streak after missing 8 straight games after being injured against Kamloops on September 25th. Barrie has 4+12=16 over those ten games…The Rockets are 11-11-1-0 after twenty-three games this season. Last year the Rockets were 12-11-0-0 after twenty-three games…The Rockets have scored 79 goals in twenty-three games this season after scoring 84 times in the teams first twenty-three games one season ago…The Rockets have allowed 71 goals against this season after surrendering 71 goals after twenty-three games last year…Ryan Huska has 96 regular season victories as the Rockets head coach.