Thursday, January 31, 2013

Game notes vs. Royals

Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets face the Victoria Royals for the fifth of eight times this season. The Rockets are 3-1-0-0 against their BC Division rivals, having out-scored the Royals 16-7. The Rockets make a return visit to Victoria February 22/23rd before the seasonal series comes to an end on March 6th at Prospera Place. The Rockets are coming off four games in five nights where they earned seven out of a possible eight points. Tonight’s game is the start of three games in three nights. The Rockets are in Vancouver tomorrow before hosting the Giants Saturday. This is game 52 of the regular season for the Rockets, who enter tonight’s contest with 37 wins on the season and 78 points in the standings, six more than all of last season. The Rockets have five regulation losses in their last 41 games (33-5-2-1) with setbacks to Tri City (twice), Edmonton, Seattle and Calgary. The Rockets have won 30 of their last 35 (28-4-3-0) games overall. The Rockets enter tonight’s game riding a 21 game home ice winning streak. The only two teams to beat the Rockets on home ice this season are Kamloops and Spokane. The Rockets have points in sixteen straight games (14-0-2-0), having out-scored the opposition 84-41.

January Blues? No way! The Kelowna Rockets are 11-0-2-0 in 13 games this month. That is the equivalent of 24 points in the standings. The 2002-2003 edition of the Rockets went 13-1-0-0 with one tie in 15 games in the month of January. That is the equivalent of 27 points in the standings. The only loss came to the Kamloops Blazers.

McKinlay Milestone: Dylen McKinlay celebrates his 300th career WHL regular season game tonight against the Royals . Oddly enough his career started with the Royals, who were then known as the Chilliwack Bruins. Interestingly, McKinlay’s first WHL game was against the Kelowna Rockets. The last Rockets player to record 300 games played was Geordie Wudrick in 2010-2011. Wudrick played in a total of 349 regular season games.

Rockets 300 Club: Six players have celebrated over 300 games, all with the Tacoma/Kelowna Rockets. Here is that list: Jason Deleurme: 341, Tyler Mosienko: 338, Brett Palin: 324, Cam Paddock: 323, Gavin McLeod: 321 and Ryan Cuthbert: 319. Geordie Wudrick (349), Bart Rushmer (333), Clayton Barthel (327) and Simon Ferguson (319) also celebrated 300 games in the WHL, but like McKinlay, their entire career was not solely spent with the Rockets organization.      

Home Cook’n: The Rockets are 22-2-0-0 at Prospera Place this season. The team has scored 124 goals (5.2 per game) and has allowed 46 goals against (1.9 per game).  The Rockets have scored at least 3 or more goals in every home game this season except one, when they lost 3-2 to the visiting Kamloops Blazers. The Rockets have scored four or more goals in 18 of their 24 home games. Jordon Cooke and Jackson Whistle have combined for five home ice shutouts this season. The team has allowed two or fewer goals at home this season in 17 of 24 games.

This and That: The Rockets are 2 for 15 (13.3%) on the power play in their last five games….The Rockets have failed to score a power play goal in four of their last five games…The Rockets gave up 6 goals in a 6-5 overtime loss Monday in Kamloops. It marked the first time since a 6-2 loss in Calgary December 16th that they have surrendered 6 goals on the road….Myles Bell snapped a mini six game goal scoring drought with two goals in Kamloops Monday night. Bell has 29 goals on the season….The Rockets have 9 road games left in the regular season with 7 of them against BC Division teams…Five of the Rockets 10 losses this season have been decided by a single goal… Jordon Cooke was named the WHL Goaltender of the Month for December. Cooke was 6-0-0-0 and posted a goals against average of 2.00. Cooke had his 20 consecutive winning streak snapped in Monday’s overtime loss in Kamloops. Kelly Guard won 10 straight games – four different times between 2002 and 2004….Since a 3-0 win over the Kamloops Blazers November 1st the Rockets are 28-4-2-0….The Rockets 21 game home ice winning streak is a team record. The franchise record is held by the Tacoma Rockets, who won 24 straight home games in 1992-93….Dylen McKinlay is  the only Rocket to play in every game this season…The Rockets have led going into the third period in 34 of their last 42 games with two games being tied heading into the final frame.…The Rockets have 34 power play goal in their last 42 games (34 for 144 over that span – 23.6 %)…..The Rockets have scored 204 goals in their last 43 games (average 4.74)....Madison Bowey (22), Mitch Wheaton (63) and Myles Bell (87) are rated among the top players by NHL Central Scouting for June’s draft. The mid-season rankings were released by NHLCS on Tuesday. Jackson Whistle is rated (26) among North American goalies…The Rockets have out-scored the opposition 124-46 on home ice this season…The Rockets have scored the most goals in the WHL (228)….Zach Franko has sixteen more points (55) than the 39 he put up all of last season. That is a new career high for the 19 year-old…..J.T Barnett has 8+11=19 in 27 games with the Rockets…Dylen McKinlay has four shorthanded goals…Since relocating from Tacoma to Kelowna for the start of the 1995-96 season, the Rockets have picked up 664 wins over the last 18 seasons…Since entering the WHL in 1991, the Tacoma/Kelowna Rockets have scored 4 thousand 558 goals (4,558)…Zach Franko has 55 points this season. Twenty-eight (31) have been registered on the road with 24 coming on home ice…Jordon Cooke’s 27 wins is the most in the WHL….The Rockets have participated in one shootout game this season. That is a league low. Last season the Rockets were involved in a league high 15…The Rockets lead the WHL in home ice wins with (22)…Dylen McKinlay leads the team in plus/minus with a +42. It is the highest +/- total for a Kelowna Rockets player. Jesse Schultz was +40 in 2002-2003…Since November 1st the Rockets have lost four times in regulation…Six of the teams ten regulation losses came in the first five weeks of the season…Zach Franko is one point shy of 150 for his career….JT Barnett is 5 games shy of 250 for his WHL career…Tyrell Goulbourne has 16 fighting majors this season.              
Who’s Hot: Tyson Baillie has 3+3=6 in his last four games…..Jesse Lees has four goals in his last six games…Colton Sissons is riding an eight game point streak. Sissons has 3+9=12 over that period… Ryan Olsen has goals in eight of his last ten games… Zach Franko has 7+7=14 in January, tops among Rockets players…MacKenzie Johnston has 11 points (3+8=11) in his last 12 games…Carter Rigby has 7+3=10 in last five games.

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