Tonight’s Preview: Let the road trip begin. The Kelowna Rockets open a six game Eastern Conference road trip tonight against the Swift Current Broncos. The Rockets will play six games in nine night’s including stops in Moose Jaw (Saturday), Brandon (Tuesday), Regina (Wednesday), Prince Albert (Friday and Saskatoon (Saturday). The Rockets are venturing out this way for the first time since the 2009-2010 campaign. That year, the Rockets went 3-3-0-0 with wins over Swift Current, Regina and Moose Jaw and losses to Brandon (8-4), Prince Albert (3-0) and Saskatoon (4-1). The Rockets were a 3-2 winner in Swift Current in their last appearance December 8/2010. Max Adolph, Shane McColgan and Cody Chikie scored in the win while Adam Brown made 33 saves. The Rockets are coming off a seven game homestand where the team went 4-3-0-0. The Rockets posted wins over Prince George (7-3), Victoria (6-5), Tri City (6-2) and Lethbridge (5-2) and suffered losses to Kootenay (4-0), Victoria (2-1) and Prince George (3-2). In the big picture the Rockets have points in eight of their last eleven games (6-3-1-1). The Rockets are opening a portion of their schedule playing 13 of the next 16 games on the road.
Road Trip Successes:
2009-2010: 3-3-0-0 19 goals for - 23 goals against
2007-2008: 3-2-0-1 18 goals for - 18 goals against
2005-2006: 6-0-0-0 30 goals for - 20 goals against
2003-2004: 5-0-0-0 21 goals for - 6 goals against *
2001-2002: 0-4-0-1 14 goals for - 21 goals against *
*Did not play Swift Current on Saskatchewan road trip which included stops in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina and Brandon.
Who’s Hot: Since the start of the 2001-2002 season, the Rockets are 6-3-0-0 in their last nine visits to Swift Current. That includes a 3-0 shutout win during the 2002-2003 season when Kelly Guard made 16 saves…Brett Bulmer has twenty-two points in fourteen games (10+12=22). Bulmer is riding a five game point streak (7+3=10). Shane McColgan has ten assists in his last nine games and snapped a ten game goals scoring drought Wednesday night in a 5-2 win over Lethbridge. Last season the Rockets leading scorer went without a goal for 10 games (twice). Carter Rigby has four goals in his last five games…Adam Brown has started in goal in twenty-one of the first twenty-nine games…Colton Sissons has nine goals in his last twelve games and is one shy of the 17 he scored in 63 games last season. Zach Franko has seven points (1+6=7) in his last nine games.
This and That: The Rockets are 7-5-1-1 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 after tonight`s game with the Broncos…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 six 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 seventeen games….The Rockets are playing their 1470th regular season game tonight and will hit the 15 hundred mark when they host Red Deer on February 18th…Ryan Huska has 170 wins behind the Rockets bench…The Rockets have scored a power play goal in sixteen of their last twenty-one games….Mitchell Chapman has one more point (7) than the six he collected all of last season…Damon Severson has three more points (20) 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 16 goals. It took him 51 games to reach that mark last season…Rockets forward Jessey Astles is serving game three of a three game suspension tonight after receiving a major for a hit to the head of an opponent December 2nd against Victoria…Jesse Lees returned to the lineup Wednesday. Lees was hurt October 20th vs. Vancouver and missed 18 games.