Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets enter tonight’s contest with wins in two of their last three games. The only setback over that period was a 4-2 loss to the Kootenay Ice Saturday night. The Rockets and Oil Kings are meeting for the first of just two times this season. These two teams meet in Edmonton February 26th. Last season the Rockets were 2-0-0-0 against the Oil Kings, out-scoring them 8-2. The Rockets were a 5-2 winner on November 2/08 before earning a 3-0 shutout win at Rexall Place December 17/08. Following tonight’s game the Rockets host Tri City tomorrow night before heading east for a six game road trip which features games against Swift Current (Tues), Regina (Wed), Brandon (Fri), Moose Jaw (Sat) before closing out the trip with dates in Prince Albert on December 15th and Saskatoon on the 16th. The road trip features six games in 9 nights before the Christmas break.
Last Game Recap: Mitchell Callahan scored twice and added two assists leading the Rockets to a 6-2 win Wednesday night in Everett. The Rockets had a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes and a 5-2 lead after 40 minutes. Tyler Halliday, Geordie Wudrick, Max Adolph and Shane McColgan also scored for the Rockets, who out-shot the Tips 34-27. The Rockets were 2 for 5 on the power play while the Tips were 1 for 4 with the extra man. Adam Brown made 25 saves in the win.
Scoring three and feeling glee: When the Rockets score 3 or more goals in a game they have a record of 10-4-0-1. When the Rockets score two or fewer goals they are the direct opposite, 4-10-0-0.
Bloodoff’s bad luck: The hockey club announced Tuesday that captain Lucas Bloodoff will be out of the lineup six weeks with a sprained knee. Bloodoff injured the knee Saturday in a 4-2 loss to the Kootenay Ice. Bloodoff joins younger brother Evan on the injury list. Evan Bloodoff underwent knee surgery this fall and is expected to be back in the lineup in late February.
Who’s Hot – Who’s Not: Brandon McMillan has no goals in his last 9 games but has points in 8 of his last 13…Shane McColgan has goals in three straight games (4+0=4).…Kyle St. Denis is three goals shy of his career high of 16 set two seasons ago…Geordie Wudrick has goals in three of the six games he has played with the Rockets this season and has a point in four of those six games (3+1=4). Mitchell Callahan’s two goals Wednesday night snapped a 10 game goal scoring drought…Callahan has 7 fighting majors this season. Callahan had 6 fighting majors at the same time last year.
Game Day Tidbits: Curt Gogol leads the WHL with 99 penalty minutes this season. Gogol was suspended for five games by the WHL on Monday after a charging major against the Kootenay Ice Saturday night. Gogol is serving game two tonight….Adam Brown leads the WHL in games played by a goaltender (27)….Brown has played the most minutes of any goaltender in the WHL (1628)….Brown is two 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 is practicing with the team and could return as early as next week…The Rockets have been involved in thirteen (13) 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 is a team high +7, just one better than Cody Chikie’s +6….Curt Gogol now has 243 career WHL penalty minutes….Brandon McMillan and Tyson Barrie have a team high 21 assist…McColgan is two points back of Medicine Hat’s Emerson Item and Portland’s Nino Neiderreitter for the WHL scoring lead by rookies…Tyson Barrie is riding a career high 16 game point streak after missing 8 straight games after being injured against Kamloops on September 25th. Barrie has 5+20=25 over those sixteen games. Barrie and Calgary’s Brandon Kozun have the longest point streak in the WHL this season (16)…The Rockets are 14-14-1-0 after twenty-nine games this season. Last year the Rockets were 17-12-0-0 after twenty-nine games…The Rockets have scored 95 goals in twenty-nine games this season after scoring 108 times in the teams first twenty-nine games one season ago…The Rockets have allowed 85 goals against this season after surrendering 83 goals after twenty-nine games last year…Ryan Huska has 99 regular season victories as the Rockets head coach…Shane McColgan scored his 1st WHL goal against the Oil Kings December 17th.
Rockets next four games:
Dec 5 vs. Tri City Dec 8 @ Swift Current
Dec 9 @ Regina Dec 11 @ Brandon