|Cole Schwebius - Shoot the Breeze Photo|
· Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets open a stretch of playing three games in four nights when they host the Victoria Royals at Prospera Place. The Royals make a return visit after handing the Rockets a 6-3 loss on November 6th, the start of four straight losses. The road team has won two of the three games, with the Rockets also earning a point in a 4-3 shootout loss in Victoria on October 29th. Two of the three games have been decided by a goal with the Royals out-scoring the Rockets 10-7. Pavel Novak (2+1=3) and Ethan Ernst (1+2=3) lead the team in points in the seasonal series. Cole Schwebius has appeared in two games against the Royals, once as a starter and the other in a relief appearance. The 18 year-old has a goals against average of 1.65. Roman Basran has an average of 4.74 in the seasonal series. After this game, the Rockets are off to the US Division where they visit Seattle (7:35 pm) Friday and Tri City (7:05 pm) Saturday night. The next home game is next Tuesday against visiting Edmonton in the teams’ third to last home date before the Christmas break.
· Who’s Hot: Alex Swetlikoff has goals in four of his last six games…Nolan Foote is riding a six game point streak (3+6=9)…Rookie Jake Poole has 1+3=4 in his last two games…Michael Farren has 2+7=9 in his last 9 games…Leif Mattson has three goals in his last six games.
· Broadcasters Notebook: Michael Farren played in his 200th career game Saturday against Kamloops…Pavel Novak is serving game one of an 8 game suspension issued by the WHL for a checking from behind major and game misconduct penalty Monday in Kamloops. Novak won’t return until December 10th against Brandon…Leif Mattson is two games shy of 200 for his career…Nolan Foote, Dillon Hamaliuk and Kaedan Korczak played for Team WHL in the Canada-Russia Series. Foote had an assist on the tying goal Wednesday in Team WHL’s 2-1 overtime victory. Then in the rematch, Thursday, Nolan Foote scored twice in regulation time and then the shootout winner in a 4-3 victory…Pavel Novak remains a ‘C’ prospect for next June’s NHL Draft. Those new rankings were updated by NHL Central Scouting. A ‘C’ prospect is regarded as a player selected between the 5th and 7th round. The 2020 NHL Entry Draft will be held in Montreal.
· Player Move: The Rockets solidified the goaltending situation, sending 19 year-old James Porter to the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL. Porter was beat out for the backup job by 18 year-old Cole Schwebius. Porter played in 72 regular season games with the Rockets but was a healthy scratch for all 15 games this season.
· Sign here please: Dillon Hamaliuk signed an entry level contract with the San Jose Sharks October 25th. Hamaliuk was chosen in the 2nd round by the Sharks in June’s NHL Draft. The 19 year-old joins Nolan Foote, who was signed by Tampa Bay back on June 25th.
· Nolan Named Captain: Nolan Foote was named the 25th captain in franchise history (Tacoma+Kelowna) October 18th. Foote joins brother Cal, who captained the Rockets during the 2017-2018 season. Both are first round selections of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning too. The Rockets selected Foote in the second round, 42nd overall in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft. This is Foote’s fourth and likely final season in the WHL.