Friday, December 17, 2010

Welcome to Calgary

  • Zak Stebner admits it will feel odd playing in Calgary tonight. The Kelowna Rockets defenceman won a WHL championship with the Hitmen last May. In fact, it was May 7th that Stebner last played at the Saddledome and lifted the Ed Chynoweth trophy over his head. He remembers it fondly as 15 thousand 335 fans cheered them on to victory.
  • Stebner was seen with a Hitmen jersey in his hand Thursday as the team made a quick stop at the Saddledome to watch the NHL's Leafs and Flames work out. The Hitmen gave Stebner his Hitmen jersey from the championships season. Nice touch.
  • The Rockets have called up 15 year-old Jesse Lees for Friday's game. Lees was the Rockets 1st round pick in 2010 WHL Bantam Draft. Lees will make his WHL debut, much like 15 year-old Madison Bowey did Wednesday night against Lethbridge. Is this a repeat of what we saw when Tyler Myers and Luke Schenn were teammates in Kelowna? Only time will tell, but it's awfully exciting.
  • Both Lees and Bowey will play at the Mac's Midget Hockey Tournament in Calgary at Christmas.
  • Mitchell Callahan has left the team. The Rockets leading scorer was up bright and early Thursday as he flew out of Calgary for the start of the USA World Junior Team main camp in Flint, Michigan. Callahan has to play his game or he will quickly return home to California for Christmas. The 19 year-old is not being looked upon to provide offense for the Americans, but grit and sand paper with a relentless fore check will earn him a spot on the team.
  • Last season the Rockets final game before Christmas was played in Saskatoon. The Rockets lost that game 4-1.
  • I had to ask the question. What is the Rockets record over the years in the teams final game before the Christmas break? Since the 2000 season, the Rockets are 6 and 4 in games prior to Christmas.
  • The Rockets last ended the Christmas break with the final game in Calgary on December of 2002. Cam Paddock had three goals in the 5-3 win while Ryan Cuthbert had two assists and was a +3.
  • The last time the Rockets played their final game before Christmas at home was on December 19, 1998. The Rockets beat the Prince Albert Raiders 9-2.
  • Low scoring games have been the story during the Rockets Alberta road trip. Kelowna has scored just 9 goals (2.25 goals per game scored) in four games while allowing 7 goals against (1.75 goals against).
  • Adam Brown may have a record of 3 and 3 in December, but he has the 3rd best statistics in the WHL during the month. Brown has a goals against average of 2.18 and a save percentage of .927. Only Red Deer's Darcy Kuemper (1.94 - save % .927) and Medicine Hat's Tyler Bunz (2.08 - save % 924) are better.
  • Geordie Wudrick has 15 goals, which is good for a tie with Mitchell Callahan for the team lead in goals. What took me by surprise is only three other skaters have fewer assists than Wudrick. Jesse Astles and Mitchell Chapman have two assists while MacKenzie Johnston has no assists, or points this season. Wudick has just three assists.

1 comment:

fan said...

what a way to go into the break. 1st place for alittle while anyway. merry christmas Regan & thanks for all the great broadcasts & blogs. merry christmas rockets & staff have a safe & happy holiday. go rockets go