Tonight’s Preview: Tonight‘s game against the Winterhawks is the third meeting of the season between the two teams. The Rockets are 0-2-0-0, having lost by scores of 3-2 (Nov 14 in Portland) and 4-2 (Nov 18 in Kelowna. Overall the Winterhawks have out-scored the Rockets 7-4 in the seasonal series. The two teams wrap up the four game affair February 20th in Portland. Tonight’s showdown is game two of a four game home stand. The Rockets host the Red Deer Rebels tomorrow night before facing off against Chilliwack on Wednesday. Overall the Rockets have lost four straight and have just one win in their last 10 games (1-8-1-0). During the four game losing streak the Rockets have been out-scored 22-10.
Last Game Recap: Lucas Bloodoff scored the lone goal in the Rockets 4-1 loss to the Kamloops Blazers last Saturday at Prospera Place. The Rockets fired 43 shots at the Blazers goal, but had problems beating goaltender Kurtis Mucha. The Rockets were 1 for 7 on the power play. Mark Guggenberger took the loss in goal making 21 saves.
Trade winds blow: The Rockets were involved in four separate deals at the Western Hockey League deadline last Sunday. The Rockets acquired 20 year-old Dallas Jackson from Prince George in exchange for overage forward Tyler Halliday and a 3rd round draft pick. The Rockets also picked up 17 year-old Sean Aschim from Prince Albert for a 6th round bantam pick. Both Jackson and Aschim will make their Rockets debut tonight. The Rockets also sent Curt Gogol to Saskatoon for a 3rd round bantam pick and the playing rights to Colton Sissons. Kyle Verdino was sent to Swift Current for a 5th round bantam pick.
Jacked about Jackson: The biggest acquisition at the deadline was picking up veteran defenceman Dallas Jackson. Jackson was leading the Prince George Cougars in scoring at the time of the trade. The gifted d-man has 29 points in 29 games this season. Originally listed by the Red Deer Rebels, Jackson has also played for the Regina Pats. Jackson has 86 points in 155 career games.
Barrie anchors back end: Rockets defenseman Tyson Barrie has 140 career points, the third highest point total for defenseman in franchise history. Josh Gorges is the franchise leader with 152 career points followed by Mike Card with 147.
Who’s Hot – Who’s Not: Tyson Barrie has points in 27 of his last 32 games…Mitchell Callahan has eight points in his last nine games (3+5=8).…Mark Guggenberger has made an appearance in eight of the Rockets last eleven games.…Brett Bulmer has points in five of his last nine games (3+2=5)…the Rockets have given up 22 goals in the last four games…The Rockets have made a goaltending change in three of the last eight games…Lucas Bloodoff has three goals in his last two games…Shane McColgan may be a minus 24 this season, but Colin Long was a -29 during the 2006-2007 season. Long would eventually lead the team in scoring in back-to-back seasons…Mark Guggenberger has lost his last 7 starts. The 21 year-old is 0-6-1-0. Guggenberger’s only win this season came December 12th in a shootout victory in Moose Jaw.
Game Day Tidbits: The Rockets have lost 24 times this season. Last season the Rockets lost just 21 times….The Rockets have been out-shot in 14 of their last 15 games…The Rockets power play is 3 for 23 (7.7 %) in the last four games…Tyson Barrie is second in league scoring by defenceman. Barrie is 8 points back of league leader Kevin Connauton of the Vancouver Giants.…The Rockets have been involved in seventeen (17) one goal games this season. The Rockets are 9-6-2-0 in those seventeen games…Kyle St. Denis and McColgan lead the team with 8 power play goals….Tyson Barrie has a team high 34 assist, 8 fewer than he had all of last season…McColgan is seven points back of the Giants Kevin Connauton and Medicine Hat’s Emerson Etem for the WHL scoring lead by rookies…Ryan Huska recorded his 100th regular season victory December 4th against Edmonton…Geordie Wudrick is missing his 8th straight game with a shoulder injury…Collin Bowman is missing his 8th straight game with a knee injury….Defenceman Mitchell Chapman and forward Brett Bulmer are rated by NHL Central Scouting for this summers draft in Los Angeles. Chapman is rated 151st while Bulmer is ranked 164th among North American born skaters…The Rockets have 14 home games and 13 road games left for a total of 27. Of those 27 games, 9 are against American based teams including four vs. Seattle…Last season after losing back-to-back games in Prince George on January 16th and 17th the Rockets went 21-3-1-1 in the final 26 games. The only losses were to Portland, Vancouver and Red Deer.