Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets and Portland Winterhawks are meeting for the first of four times this season. Following tonight’s game the Rockets visit the Hawks in Portland October 29th and 30th. The Hawks make a return visit to Kelowna January 14th. Following tonight’s game the Rockets host Vancouver on Wednesday before welcoming Everett Saturday night. Tonight’s game is the start of a four game home stand. This four game stint at home matches the longest home stretch of the season for the Rockets, who enjoy four straight games at home again from January 8th to the 19th. The last time the Rockets played a game on October 16th was back in 2002, against the Portland Winterhawks. The Rockets won that game by a 5-1 score. Overall the Rockets are paying their 6th game in nine nights.
Digging Deeper: The Rockets failed to beat the Hawks at Prospera Place last season. The Rockets were 0-1-0-1 with a 4-2 loss Nov 18/09 before falling 5-4 in a shootout January 15th. The last home ice win over the Hawks came March 11/09 in a 6-2 victory. Mikael Backlund scored twice and added an assist in the win. Overall the Rockets were 0-3-0-1 in four games against the Hawks last season.
Rockets recent game: Jessey Astles, Shane McColgan, Antoine Corbin and Colton Sissons scored goals in a 4-3 win over the Chlliwack Bruins last night. The two teams accounted for five goals in the second period. The game winner was scored by Colton Sissons at the 19:30 mark of the second period. Rookie goaltender Jordon Cooke was named the games first star making 29 saves. The Rockets were 2 for 8 on the power play.
This and That: The Rockets have been involved in six-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 3-3-0-0 in those six-one goal games…Forward Jessey Astles has two career goals. Both of his goals have been scored in Chilliwack. The 17 year-old scored his first career WHL goal in Chilliwack in October of last year….Rookie Jordon Cooke has started three consecutive games for the Rockets. The 17 year-old has been named the first star in two of the three games…Rookie Zach Franko and 17 year-old Shane McColgan are tied for the team lead in scoring with six points. Franko has (3+3=6) while McColgan has (1+5=6)….McColgan has five points (1+4=5) in his last two games….The Rockets are 6 for 21 in their last three games (28.6%) on the power play….The Rockets have not allowed a power play goal in four games. The Rockets are 16 for 16 in penalty kills over that stretch….Defenceman Colton Jobke did not play last night after serving a one game suspension for a elbowing major against the Kamloops Blazers Wednesday night…..Mitchell Callahan has just four penalty minutes this season after eight games. Last season the 19 year-old had 19 penalty minutes including three fighting majors…..The Rockets shootout win in Everett last Sunday was the franchises 6th shootout victory on the road. The Rockets are 6 and 10 in shootouts on the road dating back to 2005-06, when shootouts were introduced as a way to settle games at the WHL level…..The Rockets were involved in 11 shootout games last season. The Rockets were 7 and 4 in those games…The Rockets have failed to open the scoring in their first eight games this season….Defenceman Colton Jobke is still looking for his first career goal. Jobke has gone 76 games without scoring. Teammate Mitchell Chapman has gone 68 games without a goal. Those are the two longest scoring droughts on the Rockets roster…Geordie Wudick has one point (an assist) in his first eight games.…Last season after eight games the Rockets were 5-2-1-0…The Rockets franchise is playing its 1377th regular season game tonight. The team has 700 regular season wins….The Rockets return six of their top seven point getters from last season. They include Tyson Barrie, Shane McColgan, Mitchell Callahan, Brett Bulmer, Geordie Wudrick and Cody Chikie….The Rockets were 35-31-0-6 last season and beat the Everett Silvertips in seven games in the opening round…Rockets head coach Ryan Huska is a member of the coaching staff for this year’s entry at the World Junior Hockey Championships. Defenseman Tyson Barrie attended Team Canada’s summer camp…Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton was inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in Penticton in July…Ryan Huska is coaching in his 224rd career game tonight. Huska has 123 victories as a head coach with the hockey club…Rockets captain Tyson Barrie has missed the last four games with an injury. Barrie has misses a total of six games with the injury this season. Shane McColgan returned to the lineup last Friday in Vancouver after missing the first three games after having his tonsils removed.