Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets open a four game road trip tonight in Victoria against the Royals. These two teams meet again tomorrow night before the Rockets make a stop in Prince George for back-to-back games next weekend. This is the second of eight meetings between the Rockets and Royals. These two teams met September 28th in Kelowna with the Royals earning a 4-3 shootout win. After games tonight and tomorrow, the Royals return the visit November 20th. The Rockets make a return visit to the ‘Island’ for games January 17th and 18th. The Rockets were 3-1-0-0 in four games at Prospera Centre last season, out-scoring the Royals 21-9. The only loss was a 3-2 setback. Over the last two season – which accounts for eight games – the Rockets are 5-2-0-1 in Victoria dating back to the start of the 2011-2012 campaign.
Bell likes Royal Reception: Kelowna Rockets 20 year-old Myles Bell must like playing in Victoria. Bell had five goals against the Royals last season including 3+5=8 in four games in Victoria in 2012-2013. The season prior (2011-2012), Bell had 4+3=7 in four games in Victoria. Bell has gone four games without a goal. Last season Bell went scoreless for six games – three separate times.
This and That: The Rockets were booted out of the CHL Top 10 rankings this week. Last week the team was number 9….The Rockets have scored 47 goals after eleven games this season. Last season the Rockets scored 37 goals after eleven games. That is 10 more goals scored than at this point last season….The Rockets have allowed 30 goals against after eleven games this season. Last season the Rockets allowed 38 goals after eleven games, or eight more goals than this season….Sixteen year-old rookie forward Nick Merkley was named the CHL and WHL Player of the Week from September 30th to October 6th. Merkley had six points in three games last week including back-to-back two goal games before earning two assists in a 6-3 win over the Portland Winterhawks. Merkley was the Kelowna Rockets first round pick from the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft…Assistant Coach Dan Lambert has been named the head coach for Team West for the World Under 17 Challenge in Cape Breton Nova Scotia December 28-January 5th….. Jordon Cooke is 28-3-0-2 at home in last 33 starts at home dating back to last season…The Rockets first round pick from this summer’s WHL bantam draft has been named to Team Alberta for the upcoming Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup later this month in Calgary. Dube, who was born in Cochrane, Alberta, will represent his province at the tournament October 31st to November 3rd. The Rockets have no less than four prospects participating at the Under 16 Challenge. Madison Bowey’s younger brother Connor is playing for Team Manitoba while prospects Jordan Borstmayer (3rd round) and Kole Lind (4th round) are playing for Team Saskatchewan…The Rockets have out-shot the opposition in eight of the eleven games…Riley Stadel will not play tonight as he undergoes minor corrective surgery. The defenceman will be back in the line up next weekend against Prince George.
Who’s Hot: Damon Severson had his career high seven game point streak snapped Tuesday night against the Calgary Hitmen. Severson had 4+6=10 over that stretch….The Rockets have allowed one power play goal against in their last seven games. That translates into one goal against in their last 30 kills…Riley Stadel has 7+5=12 points so far this season. Last year as a WHL rookie, Stadel had 11 points through 49 games…Zach Franko has points in nine of his first eleven games. Franko has 2+10=12 over that period…Tyrell Goulbourne has six points in his last eight games…Nick Merkley has four goals in his last eight games and has six points in his last four games…Madison Bowey has 3+3=6 in his last seven games…Tyson Baillie has goals in four of his last five games…Ryan Olsen has 3+6=9 in his last six games…
Severson has 91 career assists – 9 shy of 100.
Tyson Baillie is 2 points shy of 100 for his career.