Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets face the Ice for the one and only time this season. This is the first time the Ice have played in Kelowna since November 23/07 when the Rockets recorded a 7-6 overtime win. Colin Long scored the game winning goal just 44 seconds into the extra frame. These two teams last met October 5/08 in Cranbrook, with the Rockets earning a 6-3 victory. Cody Almond, Stepan Novotny, Kyle St. Denis and Brandon McMillan each had multiple point games. Former Ice goaltender Kris Lazaruk earned the win in goal against his old team. The Rockets enter tonight’s game having won back-to-back road games after a 2-0 win in Prince George last Saturday and a 2-1 win in Chilliwack last night. Following tonight’s game the Rockets are in Everett Wednesday before hosting Edmonton Friday and Tri City Saturday night.
November schedule not easy: The Rockets conclude a busy month of November when they play their 12th game in 24 nights against the Kootenay Ice. The Rockets are 5 and 6 in the first 11 games, with just two wins in seven road games during the month. The Rockets have scored just 25 goals during the month (2.27 per game) and have not scored 4 or more goals in ten games. The last time the Rockets scored 4 or more goals was in a 5-4 shoot-out win against Prince George on November 4th.
Halliday makes home debut: The Rockets acquired 20 year-old Tyler Halliday off waivers last Thursday. Halliday played earlier this season with the Prince George Cougars before being released. Halliday had 21 fighting majors last season and collected 161 penalty minutes, 6th best in the league. Halliday joins Lucas Bloodoff and Mark Guggenberger as the Rockets three 20 year-olds this season.
Last Game Recap: Shane McColgan scored twice while Brandon McMillan picked up two assists leading the Rockets to a 2-1 road win last night in Chilliwack. The Bruins out-shot the Rockets 33-29, with Adam Brown making some terrific saves in the win. The Rockets were 0 for 2 on the power play while Chilliwack was 0 for 4.
McMillan’s the man: Rockets forward Brandon McMillan was named Team WHL’s player of the game in Thursday nights 4-2 win over the Russian Selects. McMillan was joined in the Subway Super Series by teammate Tyson Barrie. Ryan Huska was an assistant coach for both games along with Giants bench boss Don Hay. Rockets athletic therapist Jeff Thorburn was also a part of the Team WHL training staff.
Who’s Hot – Who’s Not: Brandon McMillan has points in fourteen of the twenty games he’s played this season. McMillan has 7+19=26 this season. Shane McColgan snapped a five game pointless streak last night with two goals. McColgan has points in 17 of the 26 games he’s played this season. McColgan also snapped a thirteen game goal scoring drought with a pair of goals last night in Chilliwack. Kyle St. Denis is three goals shy of his career high of 16 set two seasons ago. Geordie Wudrick has goals in two of the four games he has played with the Rockets this season and has a point in three of those four games (2+1=3).
Game Day Tidbits: Curt Gogol is tied for the WHL lead in penalty minutes with Randy McNaught of the Saskatoon Blades. Both players have 89.…Adam Brown is tied with Tri City’s Drew Owsley for the league lead in games played by a goaltender (25)….Brown is four games shy of the 29 he played all of last season…Mark Guggenberger is close to returning to the lineup. The 20 year-old goaltender started practicing with the team Tuesday and says he is ready to return to the lineup after missing the first 27 games with a pelvis injury….The Rockets have been involved in thirteen-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 6-6-1-0 in those thirteen games…Kyle St. Denis leads the team with 8 power play goals….Mitchell Callahan and Brandon McMillan are a team high +5….Curt Gogol now has 233 career WHL penalty minutes….Brandon McMillan has a team high 20 assist…McColgan is three points back of Medicine Hat’s Emerson Item for the WHL scoring lead by rookies…Tyson Barrie is riding a career high 14 game point streak after missing 8 straight games after being injured against Kamloops on September 25th. Barrie has 5+17=22 over those fourteen games…The Rockets are 13-13-1-0 after twenty-seven games this season. Last year the Rockets were 16-11-0-0 after twenty-seven games…The Rockets have scored 87 goals in twenty-seven games this season after scoring 103 times in the teams first twenty-seven games one season ago…The Rockets have allowed 79 goals against this season after surrendering 77 goals after twenty-seven games last year…Ryan Huska has 98 regular season victories as the Rockets head coach.