Weekend Preview: Rockets vs. Chiefs
The Okanagan Rockets look to build on their season high eight game unbeaten streak as they take to the road for a pair of games in Coquitlam against the Vancouver NE Chiefs. The Rockets and Chiefs have established themselves as two of the premiere clubs in the BCMML during the 1st half of the season. The Chiefs enter the weekend in 4th place with 27 points, just 5 behind the Rockets who sit in sole possession of 2nd with 32 points.
Last Weekend: The Rockets continued to fill the net as they torched the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds for 15 goals in two games. The Rockets were 9-1 and 6-2 winners on the weekend. The Chiefs earned 3 of a possible 4 points against the North Island Silvertips. The "Tips" had a 5-2 lead after 40 minutes in the opener, only to watch the potent Chiefs attack roar back and steal a point. The 2nd game was a 7-4 Chiefs victory.
When We Saw You Last: The Rockets took 3 of a possible 4 points from the Chiefs to open the 2012-2013 season back in September at the Capital News Centre. The Rockets settled for a 5-5 tie in the season opener when Jordan Henderson scored the equalizer with exactly 2:00 minutes left on the clock. The Rockets would earn a 6-5 win the next day. Matthew Barzal gave the league a taste of what they could expect on the weekend as he posted 8 points in the 2 games. The Rockets were led offensively by Spencer Hewson who notched 3 goals, while Justin Marreck, and Captain Brendan Wagner each had a pair. Gen Bryshun chipped in with 3 assists from the back end. The Rockets rotated netminders Brenden Mills and Reid Kilburn on the weekend.
Making Their Move: Since falling to 0-1-1 after the opening weekend, the Chiefs are a very impressive 12-4-2 since. That's good for a .722 winning %. Only the Giants .888 and the Rockets .805 are better than the Chiefs over that stretch.
Home Cooking: The Chiefs are 6-1-1 at Planet Ice in Coquitlam this year. Their only defeat came back on November 3rd, a 6-3 loss to the Giants.
Light the Lamp: The Chiefs and Rockets posses 2 of the top offenses in the BCMML. The Cariboo Cougars lead the league with 105 goals, while the Rockets are 2nd with 103 and the Chiefs are 4th with 96. The Rockets average of 5.15 per game has them on pace to score 206 goals this year, the most of any Rockets team in club history. The current record is held by the 2006-2007 Rockets who scored a league high 198 that season.
On the List: The WHL's Everett Silvertips have added the BCMML's leading goal scorer to their fold by listing the Rockets Josh Blanchard. Blanchard has posted 19 goals and 37 points in 20 games for the Rockets this season.
Streaking: The Rockets unit of Liam Finlay, Brett Mennear, and Josh Blanchard have combined for 96 points in 20 games. The trio have netted a combined 32 points in their past 4 games.
Freshmen Sensation: Chiefs rookie Matthew Barzal has posted some eye popping number to start the BCMML season. With 50 points and 20 games remaining, Barzal is on pace to equal the 108 points that Alex Kerfoot posted during the 2010-2011 season for the Vancouver NW Giants. Barzal is averaging nearly 3 points per game this season.