Friday, February 14, 2014

Rockets vs. Cougars: A Preview

Tonight’s Preview: Happy Valentine’s Day! There will likely be no love lost when the Kelowna Rockets welcome the Prince George Cougars tonight to Prospera Place. The two teams are on a collision course to meet in the first round of the WHL playoffs if two things happen. The Rockets would have to remain in first place in the Western Conference while the Cougars, who are five points out of the final playoff spot, will have to leap frog over Tri City and into the 8th seed in the Conference. These two teams haven’t seen one another since November 8th when the Rockets earned a 5-2 win. The Rockets are 4-0-0-0 in the seasonal series but two of the four games have been decided by a single goal. These two teams will get to know each other very well over the next three weeks. The two teams play each other four times in the next five games. The Rockets are in Prince George for back-to-back games next weekend before a return visit to Prospera Place on Tuesday February 25th. The Rockets have won two straight after a 2-1 win in Spokane Wednesday night and a 7-3 victory over Seattle on Monday. This is the teams 5th game in 8 nights.       

Cook’n in the Kitchen: Veteran goaltender Jordon Cooke moved into sole possession of second place on the Kelowna Rockets all-time wins list among goaltenders in a 2-1 victory Wednesday night in Spokane. Cooke earned his 84th career win, moving past Kelly Guard for second-all time in wins. Guard has 83 victories. The franchise leader is Adam Brown, who amassed 107 wins over his four year career.

Rewriting the Record Books: The Kelowna Rockets tied a franchise record Wednesday night. The Rockets registered their 24th road win of the season. That matches the win total of the 2003-2004 club, which also recorded 24 wins. The WHL record for road wins in a season is 29 set by the Portland Winterhawks last season.   

Who’s Hot: Damon Severson has points in seven of his last eight games. Severson has 10 assists over that period…The power play is 11 for 40 (27.5%) in its last eight gamesRourke Chartier has 7+9=16 in his last 16 games…Myles Bell has 17 goals in his last 19 games..The Rockets are 41-5-0-4 in their last 50 home games dating back to last season.

This and That: Myles Bell is third in the WHL in goals with 38. That is 9 off league leader Mitch Holmberg of the Spokane Chiefs….Bell is trying to become the first player since Geordie Wudrick to score 40 or more goals in a season. Wudrick had 43 in 2010-2011….The Rockets have three more wins on the road than the 21 they had all of last season…Of Myles Bell’s 38 goals this season, 21 have been scored on the road with 17 coming on home ice…The Rockets are 6-4-0-0 in their last ten road games…The Rockets are 3-1-0-2 in their last six home games…The Rockets are 12-3-0-2 since the WHL trade deadline.…The Rockets have been involved in 10-one goal games on home ice this season…Cole Martin is +97 over the last two seasons…Myles Bell has 7 goals this month after scoring 12 times in January…The Rockets have 15 games left in the regular season. Eight are on home ice with 7 on the road…The Rockets have scored six or more goals nine times on home ice this season… The Rockets are 14-3-0-0 in the second game when facing back-to-back scenarios this season….The team has been rated as the best team in the CHL according to the Top 10 junior rankings for a 7th consecutive week….Six alumni of the Rockets’ are playing  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…After losing two of his first three games, Jackson Whistle has won thirteen of his last fourteen games….The Rockets have played in eight shootout games this season and are 4 and 4. Three of the four shootout wins have come on the road in Victoria, Prince George and Seattle…Jordon Cooke is 39-6-0-3 at home in last 48 starts at home dating back to last season…The Rockets have scored 4 or more goals in 22 of their 30 road games this season…In 6 of the Rockets 8 regulation losses this season, leading scorer Myles Bell has failed to score…
Milestone Makers:
Damon Severson will play in his 247th career game tonight – 3 shy of 250.
Tyrell Goulbourne plays in his 199th career game tonight – 1 shy of 200
Myles Bell recorded his 100th career goal and 250th career point January 25th vs. Lethbridge.
Ryan Huska, according to HockeyDB, has 288 WHL regular season victories.
Carter Rigby is played in his 150th game last Saturday night.
Madison Bowey has 101 career points.
Cole Martin is playing in career game 196 tonight – 4 shy of 200.


jaz301 said...

If they do computer scheduling again next season I really hope they improve the system. Playing Prince George 4 times in next 5 games is stupid scheduling. Should be spread out over course of season.

Howiefelter said...

The officiating has been not so good as of late. Hope they get their S*** together for the playoffs.

Regan Bartel said...

Totally agree on the officiating. I didn't mind it at the start of the season but it has clearly gotten worse. Isn't it suppose to be getting better at this time of the year?

Jared Comeau said...

The WHL touts how they are a development league for not only the players, but also coaches, AND OFFICIALS. I agree that you see a LOT of WHL players and coaches move on to the next level, but I feel like the Officials are simply ignored developmentally by the league. I don't think they have the resources, or the proper people in places to develop these officials in the proper manner. It feels like these guys are simply told to throw on a striped jersey, a pair of skates, and good luck. I'd like to see more from the WHL to develop the officials so games are not being decided in the PIM column.