Friday, November 7, 2014

Rockets game notes vs. Chiefs

Tonight’s Preview: Welcome to the ¼ point of the 2014-2015 Western Hockey League regular season. The Kelowna Rockets play the second game of a three game home stand tonight against the Spokane Chiefs. This is the second of four games between the two teams’ this season.  They met October 17th in Spokane with the Rockets earning a 3-2 win. Following tonight’s game, the two collide again next Tuesday in Spokane before concluding the seasonal series March 7th at Prospera Place. The Rockets are coming off a 5-1 win over the Victoria Royals Wednesday night. Rourke Chartier, Nick Merkley and Madison Bowey each scored once and added two assists in the teams’ 15th win of the season. Jackson Whistle was named the first star with a 27 save performance. Following tonight’s game, the Rockets welcome the Vancouver Giants tomorrow night before traveling to Spokane on Tuesday. Overall, the Rockets have won 7 straight home games to start the season.

Who’s Hot – Who’s Not: Rourke Chartier is riding a five game goal scoring streak (7 goals over that span) and a five game point streak. The 18 year-old has 7+4=11 over that period…Nick Merkley has 2+3=5 in his last two games…Madison Bowey is riding a 6 game point streak. The captain has 3+7=10 over that period. Bowey has been held off the score-sheet just twice this season (In Tri City and against SC)...Riley Stadel has gone 7 games without a goal. Stadel scored 6 goals in his first 10 games…Kris Schmidli has gone 13 games without a goal. His last goal was Oct 27th in Prince George in the third game of the season…Colton Heffley has gone 15 games without a goal. Last goal was Oct 26th in Prince George when he scored twice.   

League Leaders: Nick Merkley leads the WHL in points with 30…. Nick Merkley has 15 power play assists, the most in the WHL….Merkley leads the league in assists with 24…Rourke Chartier leads the WHL with 15 goals scored…Madison Bowey’s +18 is tied for the best in the 22 team circuit….Lucas Johansen is tied for the league lead in +/- among WHL rookies (+14)…Jackson Whistle leads the WHL in wins with 13….Whistle has the lowest goals against average in the league at 2.08.  

Rodney’s a Rocket: The Kelowna Rockets acquired 18 year-old Rodney Southam from the Tri City Americans Tuesday for a 5th round bantam pick. Southam is a former teammate of Rourke Chartier’s with the Saskatoon Contacts. The two won a Saskatchewan Major Midget title together back in 2011-2012. Southam played 63 games with the Americans after signing with Tri City in the summer of 2012. The Saskatoon resident was a bantam pick of the Red Deer Rebels in 2011. 

This and That: The Rockets haven’t won both games at home in the seasonal series with the Chiefs since the 2008-2009 campaign. The Chiefs have recorded at least one win at Prospera Place in the last five seasons…Rourke Chartier has 15 goals after 16 games this season. Last season it took him 48 games to score 15 times…Chartier’s 15 goals are the third best in the Canadian Hockey League. Kyle Farrell of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) leads the way with 17 goals….On Thursday; Jackson Whistle was named the WHL Goaltender for the Month of October and November. Whistle was 12-1-1-0 over that stretch, posting a goals against average of 2.08 with three shutouts….The Rockets dropped out of top spot in the CHL Top 10 rankings this weekend when they were rated number two in the country…For four consecutive weeks they were rated number one….With assistant coaches Kris Mallette and Travis Crickard behind the bench during head coach Dan Lambert’s absence at the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge in Ontario, the Rockets are 3-0-1-0 in four games….Rourke Chartier is riding a ten game point streak on the road. The 18 year-old has 12 of his 15 goals on opposition ice….Chartier has been held off the score-sheet three times this season, all on home ice…Justin Kirkland snapped a seven game goal scoring drought Wednesday…..Rourke Chartier is 3 games shy of 150 for his career…The Rockets are an incredible 125-28-4-5 in their last 162 regular season games dating back to the start of the 2012-2013 season…. .The Rockets have out-shot the opposition in 13 of the 17 games this season…Nick Merkley has been held pointless only three times this season....Whistle’s 29 save shutout win last Thursday was the first for a Rockets goalie on the road since February 25, 2011 when Adam Brown made 27 saves in a 1-0 victory in Red Deer.…In case you are wondering, the Rockets have not been shutout in 94 consecutive games. The last time the Rockets were held without a goal was March 3, 2013 in a 3-0 loss in Kamloops… Captain Madison Bowey and 19 year-old forward Tyson Baillie will represent the Western Hockey League in the Subway Super Series next week. Games against the Russian Selects will take place in Saskatoon November 10th and in Brandon November 11th.

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