Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets lead the Prince George Cougars 2-0 in their best of seven Western Conference quarter-final series after a 4-1 win in game one and a 7-4 victory in game two. The series now shifts to Prince George for games three and four tonight and tomorrow night. If a game five is necessary, it will be played Friday in Kelowna. The Rockets played four games in Prince George during the regular season winning twice and losing twice. The Rockets were out-scored 10-8 at the CN Centre this season despite back-to-back 4-2 and 2-1 overtime wins in late November. The two losses, by scores of 4-2 and 3-0, came on February 4th and 5th. In the four games played in Prince George this season, the Rockets power play was 2 for 24 (8.3%). These two teams are meeting for the first time in the playoffs since 2000.
By the numbers: Of the 11 goals scored by the Rockets in this series, four have come from defenceman…The Rockets are 4 for 12 (33.3%) on the power play in the first two games while the Cougars are 1 for 5 (20%) with the extra man…The Rockets have out-shot the Cougars in the first two games…The Rockets have out-scored the Cougars 7-0 in the third period….Of the 25 penalties that have been called in the series, nine have been whistled down in the 1st and 3rd periods with seven infractions called in the second frame.
Game one recap: Mitchell Callahan scored twice while Damon Severson and Geordie Wudrick added singles. The two teams were tied at one after 40 minutes before the Rockets scored three unanswered goals in the final frame. Adam Brown earned the win in goal making 24 saves. The Rockets were 2 for 7 on the power play.
Game two recap: Cody Chikie and Shane McColgan each had three points games as the Rockets produced a 7-4 win Saturday night. The Cougars held a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes before the Rockets stormed back with four goals in the third period. Colton Sissons, Tyson Barrie, Jessey Astles, Kevin Smith and Zak Stebner scored goals in the win. Adam Brown made 26 saves as the Rockets went 2 for 5 on the power play.
Playoff Experience: Geordie Wudrick and Tyson Barrie lead the Rockets in playoff experience with 43 games apiece. Overage d-man Zak Stebner has 29 games of playoff experience after playing in 23 games last season with the WHL champion Calgary Hitmen.
Who’s Hot: Geordie Wudrick has goals in eight of his last ten games…Tyson Barrie has points in ten of his last fifteen…Evan Bloodoff has twelve points (6+6=12) in his last sixteen games…Shane McColgan has thirteen assists in his last twelve games...Mitchell Callahan has 5+4=9 in his last twelve games…Zach Franko has five goals in his last ten games.
This and That: Evan Bloodoff is serving game three of a four game suspension for a charging major against Vancouver in the final game of the regular season….Zak Stebner now has nine career goals against the Cougars. Eight of those nine were scored during the regular season with the lone playoff goal coming in game two… The Rockets had 17 more points than the Cougars during the regular season….The Rockets were 22-13-0-2 from January 1st to the end of the regular season. The Cougars were 14-20-0-1 over that same period. The Rockets accumulated 46 points over that stretch while the Cougars earned just 29….Tyson Barrie leads the Rockets in playoff points with 36. Barrie has 9+27=36. Wudrick has 26 career points.…Jason Siebert is missing his 50th straight game after undergoing surgery on his wrist….The Rockets allowed the fewest goals against on the road in the WHL this season (93 – tied with Red Deer)….The Rockets were involved in twenty-six (26) one goal games this season. The Rockets were 18-7-0-1 in those twenty-six (26) one goal games…Only three players dressed in all 72 regular season games this season. They were Zach Franko, Kevin Smith and Evan Bloodoff.…The Rockets received the second most power play chances of any team in the WHL this season (383). Tri City led the league with 385 opportunities.…The Rockets (6-0), Portland (5-0) and Swift Current (5-0) were the only three teams in the WHL this season that did not lose in overtime….The Rockets allowed the second (tied with Red Deer) fewest power play goals against in the WHL (51). Only Spokane allowed fewer goals against…At the Rockets awards banquet Sunday, Adam Brown was named the team MVP. Tyson Barrie was named the top defenceman while Mitchell Callahan was the top defensive forward. Colton Sissons picked up the rookie of the year award and top plus/minus player.