Coming off their first bye weekend of the season, the Okanagan Rockets will welcome the undefeated Vancouver NW Giants to the Capital News Centre this weekend for a pair of games against their long-standing rival.
Last Weekend: The Rockets were idle, while the Giants took a pair of games from the South Island Royals to push their season opening winning streak to 4 games. The Giants defeated the Royals 6-1 on Saturday and opened a 3-0 lead on Sunday before hanging on a for a 3-2 win.
When we saw you last: The Giants and Rockets battled for the BCMML Championship last March for the 2nd consecutive season. In 2012-2013, the Giants defeated the Rockets in 3 games, while last season the Rockets did the unthinkable and swept the Giants two games to none at the Burnaby Winter Club. Last season, the Rockets were the only team to take the seasonal series from the 1st place Giants as they posted a record of 2-1-1 and outscored the Giants 14-11 in those games. Add up the BCMML Championship final, and the Rockets were 4-1-1 against a Giants club that lost just 7 games all season against MML competition.
New Faces: While the Rockets turnover has been well documented with 19 new faces, the Giants aren't all that far behind. A total of 15 new players are wearing a Giants sweater for the 1st time this year. When the puck drops on Saturday afternoon a total of 34 new players will experience the Rockets / Giants rivalry for the 1st time.
Same old Same Old: Before the Rockets earned a BCMML crown last season, the Giants had won 5 straight league titles. The last time someone not named the Giants or Rockets won a BCMML crown? You have to go all the way back to the 2007-2008 when the Cariboo Cougars, led by Brett Connolly defeated the Rockets.
Roster Breakdown: The Rockets have 7 x 17 year olds, 10 x 16 year olds, and 3 x 15 year olds. The Giants meanwhile have 8 x 17 year olds, 8 x 16 year olds, and 4 x 15 year olds. Interestingly enough, the Giants have a pair of 15 year old goaltenders in David Tendeck, and Beck Warm.
Hot Starts: Both clubs have players off to hot starts in the BCMML scoring race, perhaps none hotter than the Rockets own Marcus Mitchell who is tied for league lead in goals with 5, despite the bye weekend. Nash Dabb and Wilson Northey each lead the Giants with 6 points in the first 4 games of the young 14-15 season.
Red Light District: Jordan Reynolds got off to a sensational start as he stopped 66 of 70 shots the NE Chiefs directed his way on the opening weekend. The Giants have allowed just 5 goals in the first 4 games of the season with both Tendeck and Warm rotating through.
Historically Speaking: While it's turned in the Rockets favour the past 2 years, historically this has been a pretty one-sided affair with the Giants having all of the fun. Since 2006, the Rockets are 5-20-7 in regular season action, including just 4-9-3 at the CNC. The Rockets are 4-2-2 in the 8 regular season games vs. the Giants