The Okanagan Rockets are headed to the Fall Showcase in Richmond this weekend when they battle the Greater Vancouver Canadians.
Last Weekend: The Rockets split the first two games of their regular season against the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds. On Saturday, the Rockets picked up a 3-2 win, while the T-Birds drew even with a 5-3 win on Sunday. The Canadians were taking on the Vancouver NW Giants, and tied 3-3 on Saturday before dropping a 5-4 decision Sunday.
Head-to-Head: The Rockets and Canadians are meeting for the first time since the Rockets hosted GV at Capital News Centre back on January 30 and 31st last season. That weekend, the Rockets started off on Saturday with a 4-0 win, thanks to a 31-save shutout from Cole Demers. On Sunday, the teams combined for a 3-3 tie, with Hayden Dick scoring a pair for the home side.
Historically Speaking: The Rockets have a record of 15-15-8 against the Canadians since the 2006/07 season, while compiling a 9-6-5 record at CNC against GVC in that span.
Three With Three: The Rockets had three forwards – Coleton Bilodeau, Dylan Prpich, and Eli Zummack – all pick up three points in the team’s first two games. But the trio spread the wealth around, too. Only 3 OK forwards – Hayden Courtney, Jeffrey Karpowich, and Jordan Robinson - didn’t end opening weekend with at least a point. As for defencemen, Seth Barton lead the blueliners with two points last week.
Canadians To Watch: The team’s early scoring leader is 15-year-old Sasha Mutala, who’s got four points through two games. He was taken in the first round of this year’s WHL Bantam Draft by the Tri-City Americans, after spending last season with Burnaby in the Pacific Coast Bantam Hockey League. GV returnee Chris Douglas has also picked up three points. And fellow veteran Scott Atkinson has already amassed 30 PIMs – he picked up major and misconduct penalties in each of the first two games.
Between The Pipes: The Rockets will see the regular season debut of 17-year-old goaltender Owen Partrick, who gets the start in the Saturday opener for the Rockets. Nik Bregeda started both games for the Rockets last weekend. Meanwhile, the Canadians split their first two games between both goalies. Lukas Shaw scored the opening day tie, while Nic Hoem took the Sunday loss.
Lineup News: The Rockets have added a couple more names to their list of the walking wounded. Chase Stevenson is getting closer to returning from a broken collarbone, but will still draw out of the lineup this weekend. Riley Lambert, who also missed some time in the pre-season, is out. Other losses up front for the Rockets are Jordan Robinson (ankle) and Hayden Courtney (chest infection). Drawing back into the lineup for the Rockets is defenceman Jameson Murray, who was out last weekend.