Tonight’s Preview: After playing 7 of their first 11 games on the road, the Kelowna Rockets return to Prospera Place for a mini two game home stand with games against Tri City (Tonight) and Brandon (Saturday). This is the second of four meetings between the Rockets and Americans. These two teams met Saturday in Kennewick, Washington with the Am’s earning a 5-2 win. Tyrell Goulbourne and Tomas Soustal scored in a losing cause. The two teams were tied at two after 40 minutes before Tri City scored three unanswered goals (one into an empty net) to snap the Rockets 10 game winning streak to start the season. The Rockets make a return visit to Tri City on November 26th. The Americans make one more visit to Kelowna on January 14th. In four games last season the Rockets were 4-0-0-0 against the Americans, winning twice at Toyota Center by scores of 4-1 and 4-3 in a shootout. The Rockets won 5-1 and 7-0 on home ice. The Rockets host Brandon Saturday before going back on the road for three straight games next week against Portland (twice-Thursday & Saturday) and Vancouver (Sunday).
You ain’t just Whistlin’ Dixie: Jackson Whistle is 1-1-0-0 in his career against the Americans. Whistle’s 9 game winning streak came to an end Saturday night with a 5-2 loss to the Americans. Whistle’s only other start vs. Tri City came February 26, 2014 in a shootout win in Kennewick. Whistle is 26-3-0-0 in his last 29 appearances dating back to last season. The only games he has lost over that stretch is to Tri City, Everett and Vancouver.
By the numbers: Nick Merkley’s next assist will be his 50th of his career….Rourke Chartier and Madison Bowey are both 5 goals shy of 50 for their career…Riley Stadel is 4 penalty minutes shy of 100 for his career…Austin Glover leads the team in +/- with a +13…Justin Kirkland is 10 games shy of 100 for his career…Tyrell Goulbourne is 10 penalty minutes shy of 400….Dalton Yorke played in his 50th career game Friday in Spokane.
Where are they? The Rockets graduated three 20 year-old’s last season. Marek Tvrdon is playing in the East Coast Hockey League in Toledo Ohio with the Toledo Walleye…Myles Bell signed a pro contract with the AHL’s Albany Devils earlier this month. Bell has yet to play a game this season with the New Jersey Devils farm team…Jordon Cooke is playing with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in Saskatoon. Cooke is playing alongside former Rockets Sean Aschim and Zak Stebner. Aschim is in his second year taking Business while Stebner is in his 4th year taking Business as well. Cooke is enrolled in Arts and Science. Cooke is 2 and 2 this season with a goals against average of 2.77.
Bowey/Baillie represents WHL: Captain Madison Bowey and 19 year-old forward Tyson Baillie will represent the Western Hockey League in the Subway Super Series in November. Games against the Russian Selects will take place in Saskatoon November 10th and in Brandon November 11th.
This and That: The Rockets 10 game winning streak to start the season is over. It was the best start in franchise history. By comparison, the Kamloops Blazers went 17 games without a regulation loss to start the season in 2012-2013…..The Calgary Hitmen went 11 games without a regulation loss to start the season in 1998-99…The team had a 16 game winning streak last season from November 22/13 to January 2/14…. The team was 9-0-2 in its first 11 games when ties were a possible way of ending games...Rookie Dillon Dube will represent Canada at the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge at the end of the month. Dube will play for Team White. Rockets Head Coach Dan Lambert will coach Team Red….The Rockets are an incredible 120-28-3-5 in their last 156 regular season games dating back to the start of the 2012-2013 season….The Rockets have scored five shorthanded goals this season. Last season the team managed 13 shorthanded goals and had the best penalty killing unit in the WHL…Colton Heffley played in his 250th career WHL game October 7th against the Swift Current Broncos…. The Rockets have scored a power play goal in eight of eleven games…The opposition has opened the scoring in seven of the eleven games….The Rockets have out-shot the opposition in nine of the eleven games this season…Tyson Baillie had a six game goal scoring streak earlier this season. It is the second longest in the WHL…Austin Glover has points in four of his last five games. Glover has 3+3=6 over that stretch. Glover has points in seven of the ten games he has played in this season…Nick Merkley has been pointless only twice this season. The 17 year-old failed to hit the score-sheet October 7th against the Swift Current Broncos and was held without a point Saturday in a 5-2 loss in Tri City…It has been a rough start to the CIS season for former Kelowna Rockets Cody Fowlie and Dylen McKinlay. The Regina Cougars are 0 and 8. Fowlie was the scoring leader for the Cougars last season. McKinlay is in his first year of CIS hockey.