Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play their 42nd game of the season tonight when they visit the Winterhawks in Portland. This is the third of just four meetings between these two teams this season. Back in November the Hawks earned a 6-5 shootout win followed by a 3-1 victory in back-to-back games in Kelowna. The Rockets are making their first visit to Portland since last year’s second round playoff series, which the Winterhawks won in six games. Surprisingly, both Rockets wins in the series came in Portland. Tonight’s game is the third of six straight on opposition ice. The Rockets face the Winterhawks again Friday before stops in Vancouver Saturday and Everett on Sunday. Overall, the Rockets have points in nine of their last twelve road games (6-3-1-2) and have won three straight overall.
Trade Winds Blow: The Rockets made two player moves as the Western Hockey League trade deadline came to an end on Tuesday. The Rockets acquired 20 year-old forward Brett Lyon from the Moose Jaw Warriors for a 5th and 7th round bantam pick. To make room for Lyon, the team released 20 year-old defenceman Kevin Smith. Lyon has 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points in 41 games this season.
Who’s Hot: Brett Bulmer has thirty-three points in twenty-four games this season (18+15=33). Bulmer has points in thirteen of his last fifteen games (14+5=19). Bulmer has goals in eight of his last twelve games and has fifteen goals in his last fifteen games…Shane McColgan has twelve points (3+9=12) in his last thirteen games…Carter Rigby has (6+7=13) in his last fourteen.…Adam Brown has started in goal in twenty-nine of the first forty-one games.
This and That: Three members of the Kelowna Rockets are rated in NHL Central Scouting's mid-term rankings. Captain Colton Sissons is ranked 14th among North American skaters for this summer’s draft. Teammate Damon Severson is rated 46th while rookie defenceman Cole Martin is ranked 146th. Both Sissons and Severson will participate in the CHL Top Prospects game at Prospera Place at the end of the month…Adam Brown reached the 10 thousand minutes played mark last Wednesday in a 5-2 win over Spokane. Brown now has played 10 thousand and 114 minutes in his WHL career. The only other active goaltender in the WHL with over 10 thousand minutes played is Seattle’s Calvin Pickard…The Rockets were 3-5-0-2 in ten games with head coach Ryan Huska at the World Junior Hockey Championships…The Rockets are just 20-17-0-2 in their last 39 home games dating back to last season…In January of last year the Rockets were 8-5-0-0 in 13 games. They started the month with four straight losses before winning eight of their next nine games…In seven of their last eight wins, the Rockets have given up two or less goals per game…The Rockets are 12-8-1-3 with Brett Bulmer in the line-up….Tyrell Goulbourne has nine fighting majors this season.… The Rockets are 1-8-0-1 when giving up five or more goals…Last season they gave up five or more goals in ten games…The Rockets have been involved in eighteen-one goal games this season. The Rockets are 8-5-1-4 in those eighteen games…The Rockets are playing their 1482nd regular season game tonight and will hit the 15 hundred mark when they host Red Deer on February 18th…Birthdays. Shane McColgan turned 19 (Jan 1), Austin Ferguson turns 17 (Jan 11th) and Tyrell Goulbourne turns 18 (Jan 26) later this month.