Tonight’s Preview: It is arguably the marquee matchup in the WHL as the Kelowna Rockets host the Brandon Wheat Kings. These two teams are suggested by many to be contenders for a league title this season. Unfortunately, this is the one and only meetings between the two this season. In 2013-2014, in Brandon, the Rockets rallied for a 6-5 overtime win. In that game on December 13, 2013, the Wheat Kings had a comfortable 5-3 lead with under a minute left in regulation time. Ryan Olsen would score with 38 second left before Myles Bell tied the game with 9 seconds remaining in regulation time. Bell would then score the game winner at 2:52 of overtime. The Wheat Kings last appearance in Kelowna was back on October 20, 2012. Jordon Cooke made 27 saves in the Rockets 4-2 win. Following tonight’s game the Rockets are back on the road for three straight games next week against Portland (twice-Thursday & Saturday) and Vancouver (Sunday). The next home game is November 5th against Victoria.
Get up and go ‘Goulby’: Tyrell Goulbourne has 4 goals and 2 assists in five games this season. Last season Goulbourne didn’t score a goal until his 9th game of the year. In fact, it took 24 games before the now 19 year-old scored his 4th goal of the season. Goulbourne scored a career high 17 times last season.
By the numbers: Nick Merkley registered his 50th career assist Wednesday night….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 is tied for the league lead with a +/- of +13…Justin Kirkland is 9 games shy of 100 for his career…Tyrell Goulbourne is 10 penalty minutes shy of 400….Dalton Yorke played in his 50th career game last Friday in Spokane…Jackson Whistle has 5 career shutouts.
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: Did you know that Damon Severson, the Rockets defenceman of the year in 2013-2014, was born in Brandon? You do now. Severson is now playing with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils….This is Dan Lambert’s last game behind the bench for the Rockets. What? Don’t get too excited, but Lambert will be leaving the team where he will coach one of three Canadian entries at the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge in Sarnia/Lambton Ontario. Assistant Coach Kris Mallette will gun for his first career WHL coaching victory this Thursday in Portland. Mallette and fellow assistant Travis Crickard will be guiding the team for the next six games until Lambert returns November 11th against Spokane….The Brandon Wheat Kings and Kelowna Rockets don’t make many trades with one another, but when they do they are significant. An example was in 1999 when the Rockets sent 20 year-old Brett McLean to the Wheat Kings for 20 year-old Ryan Johnston, 19 year-old Adam Kaminsky and future considerations. Jan Fadry was acquired from the Wheat Kings on October 12, 2000 along with Bart Rushmer for hulking defenceman Nolan Yonkman and future considerations. Fadrny would score 32 goals and would collect 77 points for the Rockets that season. ….The Rockets are an incredible 121-28-3-5 in their last 157 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 nine of 12 games this season…The opposition has opened the scoring in seven of the twelve games….The Rockets have out-shot the opposition in ten of the twelve 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 six games. Glover has 3+3=6 over that stretch. Glover has points in seven of the eleven games he has played in this season…Nick Merkley has been held 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…Thanks to those who generously donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation fundraiser at Wednesday’s game. With the sale of unique pink jerseys, pink pucks and t-shirts (sold by Kelowna Firemen), 10 thousand dollars was raised.