Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and Rebels are meeting for the first of just two times this season with both games played at Prospera Place. After tonight’s game these two teams tangle January 16th. These two teams met once last season with the Rebels earning a 1-0 victory in Red Deer December 16th. In the Rebels last visit to Kelowna on November 7/07, Kristofer Westblom made 21 saves while Cody Almond scored the game winner in the Rockets 3-2 win. This afternoon’s game is the Rockets 5th on home ice in their last six games. The only road game over that period was a 5-3 loss in Kamloops on Saturday. After today’s game the Rockets play three games in three nights this weekend. The Rockets are in Everett on Friday, in Portland on Saturday and in Spokane on Sunday.
Battles won and lost: The Rockets have not lost to the Rebels in Kelowna since Cam Ward made 25 saves November 4, 2003 in a 2-1 road victory. The Rockets have won three straight games over the Rebels in Kelowna including a 1-0 shutout November 12, 2004 when Derek Yeomans made 24 saves. The Rebels were able to win both games in Kelowna in the 2001-2002 season by identical scores of 5-1.
Last Game Recap: Brandon McMillan scored once and added an assist in the Rockets 5-3 loss in Kamloops Saturday night. Cody Chikie and Kyle St. Denis added singles in the Rockets 8th loss of the season. Overall the Rockets have lost three straight road games, having given up five goals in each of those last three losses. Adam Brown made 20 saves in the loss. The Rockets were 1 for 5 on the power play despite out-shooting the Blazers 42-25.
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.
Extra Man Mayhem: The Rockets have scored a power play goal in sixteen of the nineteen games this season. They failed to score a power play goal against Kamloops September 25th, Tri City October 23rd and against Spokane October 30th. The Rockets own the 5th best power play in the league.
Who’s Hot – Who’s Not: Brandon McMillan has points in eleven of the twelve games he’s played this season. McMillan has 7+14=21 this season and has five goals in his last five games. Stepan Novotny has been held off the score-sheet in 6 of the last 8 games. Shane McColgan has points in 14 of his last 16 games. McColgan has 6+16=22 over that period. McColgan has a point in 15 of the 19 games he’s played this season. McColgan has not scored a goal in seven games.
Game Day Tidbits: The Rockets are wearing special Remembrance Day uniforms in today’s game which will be auctioned off with the proceeds going towards the Royal Canadian Legion ….The Rockets have not played a game on November 11th since a 3-2 win in Prince George November 11, 2006….Brandon McMillan has been named a game star in the last three games he’s played. McMillan was the third star Saturday in Kamloops and has been named back-to-back first stars in the last two home games….The Rockets have been involved in eight-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 4-3-1-0 in those eight games…In the month of November the Rockets are playing 12 games in 24 nights…Kyle St. Denis leads the team with 7 power play goals apiece….Mitchell Callahan is a team high +9….Curt Gogol has 197 career WHL penalty minutes. ..Shane McColgan has a team high 17 assist, three better than Brandon McMillan’s 13…McColgan is one point back of Medicine Hat’s Emerson Item for the WHL scoring lead by rookies. Item has played four more games….Tyson Barrie is riding a 7 game point streak after missing 8 straight games after being injured against Kamloops on September 25th. Barrie has 3+9=12 over those seven games…The Rockets are 10-8-1-0 after nineteen games this season. Last year the Rockets were 11-8-0-0 after nineteen games…The Rockets have scored 73 goals in nineteen games this season after scoring 74 times in the teams first nineteen games one season ago…The Rockets have allowed 65 goals against this season after surrendering 59 goals after nineteen games last year…Ryan Huska has 95 regular season victories as the Rockets head coach....Aaron Borejko makes his first appearance in Kelowna as a member of the Rebels. Borejko, a 5th round pick in 2006, was traded to the Rebels earlier this season for a 4th round bantam selection.