Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets face the Lethbridge Hurricanes for the first of three times this season. The Hurricanes are here again January 20th before the Rockets make a return visit on February 24th. These two teams met twice last season with the Rockets winning both games including a 5-3 decision on home ice on March 5th. The Rockets beat the Hurricanes in Lethbridge December 15th. This is game seven of seven straight on home ice. The Rockets are 3-3-0-0 during the home stand after wins over Prince George (7-3), Victoria (6-5) and Tri City (6-2) and losses to Kootenay (4-0), Victoria (2-1) and Prince George (3-2). In the big picture the Rockets have points in seven of their last ten games (5-3-1-1). Following tonight’s game the Rockets begin a pre-Christmas road trip with six games in 10 nights in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The road trip starts Friday in Swift Current before facing the Moose Jaw Warriors Saturday night. The Rockets visit Brandon next Tuesday, Regina Wednesday and Prince Albert on Friday. The trip ends Saturday December 27th in Saskatoon. Following tonight’s game, the Rockets will play 13 of the next 16 games on the road.
Slow Start Trend: Over the last four seasons, this year included, the Rockets are a combined 53-49-2-1 in the month of September-October and November. The Rockets were 14-11-0-0 during that period last season and were 12-15-0-0 in 2009-2010. Even when the Rockets won the WHL title in 2008-2009, the team was 16-11-0-0 in September, October and November.
Who’s Hot: Brett Bulmer has nineteen points in thirteen games (9+10=19). Shane McColgan has ten assists in his last eight games but has not scored a goal in ten games. Last season the Rockets leading scorer went without a goal for 10 games (twice). Carter Rigby has four goals in his last eight games…Adam Brown has started in goal in twenty of the first twenty-eight games…Colton Sissons has eight goals in his last eleven games and is two shy of the 17 he scored in 63 games last season. Zach Franko has five points (1+4=5) in his last eight games.
This and That: The Rockets are 6-5-1-1 with Brett Bulmer in the line-up….Brett Bulmer was named to the training camp roster by Hockey Canada for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Champions. Bulmer will attend training camp in early December. Ryan Huska is an assistant coach on Team Canada while Jeff Thorburn is an athletic therapist….Huska was a member of the Team Canada coaching staff last year. Huska is the fourth Rockets’ coach to represent Team Canada. Marcel Comeau and Marc Habscheid have been head coaches while Jeff Truitt was a video coach….The Rockets have sent 11 players to represent Canada at the WJHC…Tyrell Goulbourne has eight fighting majors this season and four in his last five games… The Rockets are 1-6-0-1 when giving up five or more goals…The Rockets have given up five or more goals in eight games this season. Last season they gave up five or more goals in ten games…NHL Central Scouting has rated captain Colton Sissons as the 6th top skater available from the WHL for the 2012 draft….Jesse Lees and Tyson Baillie have been named to Team Pacific for the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge next month in Windsor, Ontario…Madison Bowey has been named to the roster for Team West for the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge…The Rockets have been involved in fourteen-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 6-5-1-2 in those fourteen games…The Rockets have been out-shot in ten of their last sixteen games….The Rockets are playing their 1469th regular season game tonight and will hit the 15 hundred mark when they host Red Deer on February 18th…Ryan Huska has 169 wins behind the Rockets bench…The Rockets have scored a power play goal in fifteen of their last twenty games….Mitchell Chapman has one more point (7) than the six he collected all of last season…Damon Severson has two more points (19) than the 17 he registered in his rookie campaign….Filip Vasko has received an invite to Slovakia’s came for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships..Sissons has 15 goals. It took him 51 games to reach that mark last season…Rockets forward Jessey Astles is serving game two of a three game suspension after receiving a major for a hit to the head of an opponent December 2nd against Victoria…Jesse Lees returns to the lineup tonight. Lees was hurt October 20th vs. Vancouver and missed 18 games.