Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets open a stretch of three games in four nights with a stop in Seattle (Kent) to face the T-Birds. The Rockets host Victoria tomorrow night before facing the Tri City Americans in Kennewick Washington on Friday. Tonight’s game is the first visit to Seattle (Kent) since last season’s opening round playoff series with the T-Birds that went seven games. In game six, Myles Bell scored the game winner sending the series back to Kelowna where Tyson Baillie would score the game winner in overtime. These two teams met back on October 11th with the T-Birds earning a 4-3 shootout win. Following tonight’s game the seasonal series concludes with a game January 26th (Kent) before meeting February 10th in Kelowna. Last season in two regular season visits to Seattle the Rockets were 1-1-0-0 with a 4-2 loss and a 4-3 shootout win.
Home Stand Heaven: The Rockets wrapped up a four game home stand with a record of 4-0-0-0. The team beat Red Deer (6-2), Prince George (5-2), Edmonton (2-0) and Medicine Hat (4-3). Overall the Rockets out-scored the opposition 17-7. The Rockets were 17 for 17 on the penalty kill and were 4 for 17 on the power play (24%).
Team Pacific Selections: Two members of the Rockets were named to Team Pacific for the upcoming Under 17 World Hockey Challenge in late December in Nova Scotia. Nick Merkley and Joe Gatenby have been named to the roster. Merkley is a first round pick of the Rockets in 2012 while Gatenby was the team’s second round pick that season.
Subway Super Series: Two members of the Kelowna Rockets have been named to Team WHL for the upcoming Subway Super Series. Damon Severson and Madison Bowey will play in one of two games taking place later this month in Red Deer and Lethbridge. This game was held in Kelowna back in 2009. Over the years, Luke Schenn, Tyler Myers, Brandon McMillan, Tyson Barrie and Colton Sissons have participated in the game.
This and That: Assistant Coach Dan Lambert has signed a new two year deal with the hockey club. Lambert will be with the team through the 2015-2016 season. Lambert joined the Rockets after a 19 year professional playing career. This is his 5th season as an assistant to head coach Ryan Huska. …Three members of the Rockets have been named to NHL Central Scouting’s ‘Watch List’ of the eligible players for this summer’s NHL draft in Philadelphia. Justin Kirkland, Tyson Baillie and Riley Stadel have made that list….The Rockets are rated as the third best team in Canada according to this week’s CHL Top 10 junior rankings. Last week the Rockets were ranked 7th….The Rockets are riding a seven game winning streak. Last season the team’s longest winning streak was 8 games….The Rockets have killed off 28 of their last 30 penalty kills…Eighteen year-old Madison Bowey was named captain of the Kelowna Rockets November 1st….Jordon Cooke was named WHL Goaltender of the Month for September/October. Cooke was 8-0-0-2 with a goals against average of 1.85…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 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 31-3-0-2 at home in last 36 starts at home dating back to last season.
Who’s Hot: Myles Bell has 1+4=5 in his last four games…The Rockets have allowed three power play goals against in their last fifteen games. That translates into three goals against in their last 63 kills…Riley Stadel has 9+6=15 points so far this season. Last year as a WHL rookie, Stadel had 11 points through 49 games…Nick Merkley has eleven points in his last twelve games…Madison Bowey has 5+9=14 in his last fourteen games….Ryan Olsen has 5+8=13 in his last thirteen games and has points in seven of his last ten.
Severson has 98 career assists – 2 shy of 100.
Madison Bowey is playing in his 149th career game tonight – one shy of 150.
Colton Heffley is playing in his 191st career game tonight – 9 shy of 200.
Cole Martin is a +57 over his career.