Tonight’s Preview: It is the third of four meetings between the two teams this season. The Rockets are 1-1-0-0 after a 5-2 loss in Tri City October 18th before earning a 5-0 win October 30th. After tonight’s game the two teams conclude the seasonal series January 14th at Prospera Place. The Rockets are riding their longest losing streak of the season, two games, after 4-3 overtime loss last Friday to Portland and a 4-3 regulation loss Saturday night. This is the third straight game against a U.S Division team. Following this contest the Rockets open a four game home stand Saturday night against the Regina Pats.
World Junior Bound: Congratulations to 18 year-old Kelowna Rockets forward Kris Schmidli, who will participate in the upcoming World Junior Hockey Champions for Switzerland. The Rockets first pick in the CHL European draft two years ago has 5 goals and 12 assists which is good for 17 points in only his second season in the WHL.
Let’s go streaking: Nick Merkley is riding an 11 game point streak (4+16=20) heading into tonight’s game. Here are the longest point streaks by a Rockets player over the years.
Tyson Barrie: 21 games with a point 2009-2010 (5+28=33)
Zach Franko: 13 games with a point 2010-2011 (9+9=18)
Jesse Schultz: 13 games with a point 2002-2003 (15+8=23)
Jamie Benn: 13 games with a point 2008-2009 (15+10=25)
Nick Merkley: 11 games with a point 2014-2015 (present)
Rourke Chartier: 10 games with a point 2014-2015 (15+9=24)
Milestones: Tyson Baillie is 5 assists shy of 100 for his career…Nick Merkley and Kris Schmidli are 7 games shy of 100 for their careers…Riley Stadel is 10 games shy of 150 for his career…Madison Bowey is 7 assists shy of 100 for his career.
Who’s Hot: Jesse Lees has points in 6 of his last 7 games. Lees has 4+7=11 over that period…Tyson Baillie has five goals in his last 6 games and has points in 7 of his last 9 games…Over that period, the 19 year-old has (7+6=13)...Rourke Chartier has two more goals (26) than he had all of last season. Chartier has goals in 12 of his last 14 games….Chartier has 25 points in November (15+10=25)…Nick Merkley has 4+15=19 in his last 11 games and is riding an 11 game point streak…Madison Bowey has been held off the score-sheet 6 times this season.
League Leaders: Rourke Chartier and Nick Merkley leads the WHL in points with 45…Nick Merkley has 20 power play assists, the most in the WHL…Merkley leads the league in assists with 37…Rourke Chartier leads the WHL with 26 goals scored…Rourke Chartier leads the WHL with a +24 and is closely followed by teammate Cole Martin who is +23....Chartier leads the WHL in game winning goals with 7…Jackson Whistle leads the WHL in wins with 16.
This and That: Rodney Southam plays against his old team for the first time. Southam has played 9 games with the Rockets (1+1=2) since he was acquired from the Tri City Americans in a WHL trade November 4th for a 5th round bantam pick. Southam has five fighting majors in 9 games with the Rockets this season. Southam has four tilts in his last six games…The Rockets have called up 16 year-old forwards Kole Lind and Jordan Borstmayer from the midget Saskatoon Contacts. Lind made his WHL debut against the Kamloops Blazers opening night. Lind is a 4th round pick from the 2013 WHL bantam draft. The Shaunavon, Saskatchewan resident is third in the Saskatchewan Midget Triple ‘A’ league in scoring with 21+13=34 in 20 games. Borstmayer has 8+14=22 in 27 games with the Contacts. Borstmayer is a 3rd round pick of the Rockets from 2013….Austin Glover has missed 7 straight games with an injury….Nick Merkley is rated as an ‘A’ prospect by NHL Central Scouting for this summer’s draft. Teammate Joe Gatenby and Tomas Soustal are ‘C’ prospect in the November rankings…The Rockets have been held to three goals or less only 6 times this season…. The Rockets have scored 5 or more goals on the road in 10 of their 15 road games this season. Last year they score 5 or more goals 15 times on opposition ice….Nick Merkley has 14 multiple point games….Rourke Chartier has been held off the score-sheet four times this season…The Rockets are an incredible 131-28-7-5 in their last 171 regular season games dating back to the start of the 2012-2013 season….In case you are wondering, the Rockets have not been shutout in 102 consecutive games. The last time the Rockets were held without a goal was March 3, 2013 in a 3-0 loss in Kamloops…