Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets host the Seattle Thunderbirds in game two of this best of seven Western Conference semi final series. Thursday night the Rockets were a 6-2 winner. Damon Severson scored twice and added two assists in the win. Madison Bowey, Rourke Chartier, Ryan Olsen and Cole Linaker scored in the team’s fifth win of the post season in six games. The Rockets were 3 for 6 on the power play while Jordon Cooke made 25 saves. Following this evenings game the next two will be played in Seattle/Kent this upcoming Tuesday and Wednesday. These two teams met in an epic seven game opening round playoff series in 2013 where the T-Birds won the first three games before the Rockets rallied back to win four straight to advance to round two. Five of the seven games were decided in overtime. This season the two teams met four times with both sporting records of 2-1-0-1. The Rockets out-scored the T-Birds 15-14 in the four games. Two of the regular season games were decided in the shootout. These two teams are meeting for the 6th time in the playoffs. The two teams have met in 2013, 2008, 2005, 2003 and 2001. The Rockets advanced to the second round for the third time in the last four years with a five game series win over the Tri City Americans.
Game One Tidbits: Nine Rockets found the score sheet in game one…Nick Merkley had two assists. The 16 year-old has yet to find the net in post season. Merkley has ten career assists in 13 playoff games…Cole Linaker scored once in game #1’s 6-2 win. That gives the 18 year-old two goals in the 2014 post season. In his rookie campaign, Linaker had just two goals in 37 regular season games during the 2012-2013 season…Jordon Cooke picked up his 5th win of the playoffs with a 23 saves performance. Cooke has one more win than the four he recorded during the 2013 post season…The Rockets were 3 for 6 on the power play in game one. That gives the Rockets 9 power play goals in the playoffs, two more than the seven they manufactured in last year’s post season…Three defenceman lead the Rockets in +/-. Damon Severson, Mitch Wheaton and Madison Bowey are all +4…Goaltender Jordon Cooke earned an assist in game one…The Rockets took four penalties in game one. The T-Birds took 7.
This and That: Damon Severson has never had a four point game. But in saying that, the 19 year-old has had a 5 point game (0+5=5) in a regular season game against Vancouver on October 20/2011….The Rockets have allowed 5 goals in four home playoff games. That is an average of 1.25 goals against in the 2014 post season…The Rockets haven’t played a playoff game on April 5th since the 2003 post season in a 5-1 home ice win against Spokane in game two of a second round series. The Rockets out-shot the Chiefs 56-11…During the regular season the Rockets d-score was a combined +213. The T-Birds d-score was a combined +5….Defenceman Madison Bowey signed a three year entry level contract with the NHL’s Washington Capitals on Wednesday. The 18 year-old was chosen in the second round of the 2013 draft – 53rd overall…If this series goes a full seven games, it will be played over 13 nights…Tyrell Goulbourne scored 17 times this season. Of those 17 goals, three of them came against the T-Birds…The Rockets have killed off 19 of its last 20 shorthanded situations in this year’s playoffs.…The Rockets have a power play goal in all six playoff games…The Kelowna Rockets are playing their 196th playoff game tonight…This is the 36th playoff series the Rockets have been involved in since relocating from Tacoma for the start of the 1995-96 season…The Western Hockey League announced this week that Jordon Cooke has been named the VAUGHN WHL Goaltender of the Month for March, 2014. It is the second time this season that Cooke has been named VAUGHN WHL Goaltender of the Month, having earned the honor for September/October as well.
Who’s Hot: Marek Tvrdon had his five game playoff point streak snapped in game one…Rourke Chartier is riding a five game point streak. Chartier has 3+4=7 over that stretch….Tyson Baillie had 8 playoff goals in 2013…Baillie had seven goals in seven games in last year’s opening round series with the T-Birds including a hat trick in game seven…Jordon Cooke is 5 and 1 in this year’s playoffs with a goals against average of 2.01 and a save percentage of .933.