Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets open a Central Division road trip tonight when they face the Edmonton Oil Kings. The Rockets play four games in five nights. Following tonight’s game the Rockets are in Lethbridge Friday, Medicine Hat Saturday and Calgary on Sunday. These two teams are meeting for the second time this season. On November 9th, the Rockets’ earning a 2-0 win. Jordon Cooke made 25 saves in the shutout. Kris Schmidli and Justin Kirkland scored goals in the victory. The Rockets last appearance at Rexall Place was in a 5-3 loss back on October 27/2012. The Rockets carried a 3-2 lead into the third period before the Oil Kings struck for three goals (one into an empty net). The Rockets enter tonight’s game having won 17 of their last 18 games overall and 26 of their last 28 games. The Rockets are coming off a 4-2 win Saturday night over the visiting Vancouver Giants.
Road Rash: The Rockets are on the road for the 11th time in their last 13 games. The only home dates over that period were against Kamloops on December 27th (7-1) and against Vancouver on Saturday (4-2). This is the start of six straight games on the road. The Rockets are in Victoria for back-to-back games to conclude 16 of 18 on opposition ice. Oh, by the end of this Central Division road trip the team will have spent 25 of the last 36 days on the road.
Alberta Content: The Rockets have 10 players with ties to Alberta. Nick Merkley, Joe Gatenby and Jesse Lees were born in Calgary. Myles Bell is also from ‘Cowtown’. Jordon Cooke is from Leduc, Tyson Baillie is from Fort Saskatchewan, Mitch Wheaton is from Sherwood Park, Cole Linaker and Tyrell Goulbourne are from Edmonton and Justin Kirkland was born in Camrose.
Two Years of Success: Myles Bell has 61+75=136 points in his last 106 regular season games since moving from defense to forward. Teammate Tyson Baillie has 44+58=102 in his last 106 regular season games. Baillie was not named to the CHL Top Prospects game in Calgary in mid January.
Welcome Back Kotter: The Rockets welcome back three members of the team who attended the U-17’s in Nova Scotia. Assistant Dan Lambert was the head coach of Team West while 16 year-old rookies Nick Merkley and Joe Gatenby struck silver as members of Team Pacific.
This and That: Myles Bell is third in the WHL in game winning goals with 6…Six alumni of the Rockets’ will play for their respective countries at the Sochi Olympics. Jamie Benn, Shea Weber and Duncan Keith will wear colours for Canada. Alex Edler (Sweden), Lauris Darzins ( Latvia) and Thomas Raffl (Austria) will also compete…Myles Bell is the WHL Player of the Week. Bell had 5+5=10 in four games last week. Teammate Nick Merkley won the award from September 30th to October 6th….Tyson Baillie was named the WHL Player of the Month for December. Baillie had 5+15=20 during the month….The Rockets 16 game winning streak was 6 wins shy of the league record of 22 set by the Estevan Bruins in 1967….Cole Martin leads the entire WHL with a plus/minus rating of +38…Myles Bell has 23 goals. Only three have been scored on the power play….The Rockets have been out-shot on home ice five times this season…After losing two of his first three games, Jackson Whistle has won seven of his last eight games….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…Jordon Cooke is 35-4-0-2 at home in last 41 starts at home dating back to last season…Jordon Cooke is 33-2-0-2 in his last 37 regular season starts dating back to last season…The Rockets have scored 4 or more goals in 17 of their 21 road games this season.
Zach Franko has 199 points, 1 shy of 200 for his career.
Myles Bell is playing in his 296th game tonight – 4 shy of 300.
Ryan Huska, according to Hockeydb, has 279 WHL regular season victories.
Huska is coaching in his 472nd regular season game tonight.
Myles Bell has 94 career goals and 147 career WHL assists.
Madison Bowey has five more points (35) they he had in 69 games last season.
Carter Rigby has 43 goals in his last 122 regular season games since joining the Rockets.
Rourke Chartier plays in his 98th career game tonight – two shy of 100.