Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Game notes vs. Blades

Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game two of a four game home stand tonight against the visiting Saskatoon Blades. This is the one and only meeting of the season between the two teams’. The Rockets are riding a four game winning streak against the Blades following their last meeting, December 17/2013 in Saskatoon in a 7-1 win. During that four game winning streak over the Blades, the Rockets have 27-7. The last time the Blades beat the Rockets was December 16, 2009 with a 4-1 victory at what was then known as Sask Place. The Blades last win in Kelowna was December 3rd 2008 when Stefan Elliott had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win. Jamie Benn had two assists in the setback. The Rockets are coming off a 3-1 home ice loss to the Regina Pats Saturday night. Rourke Chartier scored his league leading 29th goal of the season in the teams’ third regulation loss of the season. Overall, the Rockets are winless in their last three home games (0-2-1-0). Following tonight’s game, the Rockets host Prince George on Friday and Prince Albert on Saturday. Following those two games this weekend, the Rockets concluded the pre-Christmas schedule with five straight games on the road. They include dates in Lethbridge (Dec 10), Medicine Hat (Dec 12), Calgary (Dec 14), Edmonton (Dec 16) and Red Deer (Dec 17).  

The Saskatoon Sniper: Rourke Chartier had 18+10=28 in the month of November. In 14 games, Chartier scored a goal in 12 of them. The 18 year-old had points in 13 of those 14 games. Chartier had 9 multiple point games in the month. Chartier had 6-3 point games and three-two point games. By comparison, last seasons’ WHL scoring champion Mitch Holmberg had 12+14=26 in November. The only player to record more points over the last five seasons in the month of November is Portland’s Brendan Leipsic. Leipsic had 9+21=30 in November 2012.

Walking wounded: 
Tanner Wishnowski: missed 28 games
Mitch Wheaton: missed 24 games
Dillon Dube: missed 25 games
Dalton Yorke: missed 11 games
Austin Glover: missed 10 games
Joe Gatenby: missed 7 games
Justin Kirkland: missed 6 games
Jake Morrissey: missed 6 games. 
Jesse Lees: missed 3 games
Cole Martin: missed 1 game
Total # of games = 122 man games lost to injury. (Unofficial)

World Junior Bound: Congratulations Madison Bowey and Rourke Chartier for being two of 29 players named to Team Canada’s training camp roster for the WJHC. Kelowna Rockets forward Kris Schmidli will participate in the upcoming World Junior’s with Switzerland. Rockets majority owner Bruce Hamilton is a member of Team Canada’s management team.

Let’s go streaking: Nick Merkley’s 12 game point streak (4+17=21) came to an end Saturday against Regina. Merkley had the 5th longest point streak in Kelowna Rockets history. 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: 12 games with a point 2014-2015 (4+17=21)
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 6 games shy of 100 for their careers…Riley Stadel is 9 games shy of 150 for his career…Madison Bowey is 7 assists shy of 100 for his career.  

This and That: The Rockets were 15-0-0-0 against Eastern Division teams up until Saturday’s loss to Regina…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 7 times this season….Nick Merkley has 14 multiple point games….Rourke Chartier has been held off the score-sheet four times this season…In case you are wondering, the Rockets have not been shutout in 104 consecutive games. The last time the Rockets were held without a goal was March 3, 2013 in a 3-0 loss in Kamloops…Dan Lambert won a Memorial Cup with the Swift Current Broncos in 1989. The game was played against the Blades in Saskatoon. Blades head coach Marcel Comeau, in 1989, was also a coach with the Kelowna Rockets for five seasons…Bruce Hamilton played his junior hockey with the Saskatoon Blades from 1974-1977. Hamilton was an assistant coach with the Blades in 1983-84 under then head coach Darrell Lubiniecki. One of the players on that team was 16 year-old Wendel Clark, who scored 23 goals that season…Tyrell Goulbourne’s next point will be his 100th of his career…While Rourke Chartier lead the team with 18+10=28 in November, Nick Merkley was next with 4+17=21. Jesse Lees was third in scoring during the month with 5+10=15. Tyson Baillie had 14 points (8+6=14) during the month.  

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