Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game three of a four game home stand tonight against the visiting Everett Silvertips. This is the second meeting of the season between the two teams. Back on October 2nd – in Everett – the Rockets earned a 6-3 win. Madison Bowey and Nick Merkley each scored twice in the team’s 3rd win of the season. Jackson Whistle made 29 saves. Following tonight’s game these two teams meet again January 22nd in Everett before closing out the four game seasonal series March 4th at Prospera Place. The Rockets are riding a three game home ice winning streak against the Tips. The visitor’s last win in Kelowna came January 18th, 2012 with a 4-2 victory. Shane McColgan and Colton Sissons scored in a losing cause while Adam Brown was tagged with the loss in goal. Overall, the Rockets have won four straight after one goal wins against Kamloops (twice), Vancouver and a 4-1 victory in Tri City back on November 22nd. Following tonight’s game the Rockets play their final home game before the Christmas break tomorrow hwhen they host the Kootenay Ice.
Back Tracking: Since the Kelowna Rockets beat the Everett Silvertips back on October 2nd, the Rockets are 17-2-0-2. The Tips are 18-4-2-0. The Tips have played 15-one goal games this season. The Rockets have played 11-one goal games (8-1-0-2) including five in their last seven games.
Severson Sings Oh Canada: Defencemen Damon Severson was one of 25 players named to Hockey Canada’s training camp roster Monday for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship in Sweden. Severson is one of ten WHL players (nine if you exclude former Red Deer defenceman Matt Dumba) but is one of only two WHL players on Team Canada that isn’t a first round bantam pick. Severson was taken in the 9th round of the 2009 draft. Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton is heavily involved with Hockey Canada’s management group. Severson is the 12th player within the organization to play for Canada at the WJHC.
Road Rash: Overall, the team has won 7 straight games on the road, having out-scored the opposition 30-15. In four of those seven road games the Rockets have allowed a single goal. Kamloops, Calgary and Saskatoon owned eight game road winning streaks last season – the longest in the WHL. The Rockets won 7 straight road games back in the 2010-2011 campaign between February 23rd and March 18th. Overall, the team has won 13 of their last 14 games. Next week they begin a six game Eastern Conference road trip with stops in Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Brandon, Regina, Prince Albert and Saskatoon.
This and That: The Rockets are 1 for 18 on the power play (6%) in their last 5 games…The team has allowed 6 power play goals against (last five games) in their last 16 kills…The Rockets have been out-shot on home ice three times this season…After losing two of his first three games, Jackson Whistle has won four straight. His goals against average over that stretch is 1.92 with a save percentage of .920…The Rockets have played in six shootout games this season and are 4 and 2. Three of the four shootout wins have come on the road in Victoria, Prince George and Seattle…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 32-4-0-2 at home in last 38 starts at home dating back to last season…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 added to the roster. Gatenby was the team’s second round pick in 2012.
Who’s Hot: Madison Bowey has 5+2=7 in his last seven games….Ryan Olsen has 4+2=6 in his last six games….Damon Severson has 3+8=11 in his last eleven games.