Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Game notes vs. Americans

Eric Comrie
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game two of a five game home stand against the Tri City Americans.  This is the 4th and final meeting of the season between the two teams’. The Rockets are 2-1-0-0, with wins of 4-0 (Oct 22) and 4-1 (Nov 26th) and a 5-2 setback in Tri City (Oct 18th). This also marks the final appearance of 19 year-old Americans goaltender Eric Comrie at Prospera Place. Comrie, who is signed by the Winnipeg Jets, joined Rockets defencemen Madison Bowey and Josh Morrissey on Team Canada’s entry at the World Junior Hockey Championships. Surprisingly, Comrie is 0-2-0-0 with one relief appearance in Kelowna in his four year career. Comrie did not play a regular season game in Kelowna last season. The Rockets are coming off a 5-3 home ice loss Saturday to the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. Leon Daisaitl, Madison Bowey and Justin Kirkland scored in the loss. The Tigers scored back-to-back shorthanded goals 61 seconds apart in the win, snapping the Rockets four game winning streak. Following tonight’s game the Rockets host Seattle Friday and then have a week off before returning to action Friday January 23rd and 24th against the visiting Everett Silvertips for a rare double header between the two teams’. The Rockets don’t return to the road until January 27th when they make their second and final visit to Red Deer before making stops in Edmonton, Lethbridge, Calgary and Kootenay to end the teams’ final extended road trip of the season.         

This and That: Rockets Assistant Coach Kris Mallette has the bragging rights over this current NHL player and former Canuck, having been drafted well before him in the 1997 NHL draft. The answer at the bottom of ‘This and That’….Who will score the Kelowna Rockets 5 thousandth goal? The team, since re-locating from Tacoma to Kelowna, has scored 4 thousand 990 goals….The Rockets have 768 regular season wins in Kelowna dating back to the start of the 1995-96 season….The Rockets were 36-5-0-2 after 43 games last season. This season the team is 33-7-3-0 after 43 games…The Rockets this season has taken 369 fewer shots after 43 games than a year ago. That averages out to 9 fewer shots on the visitors net per game…The team has allowed 79 fewer shots on net at the same time last year…Rourke Chartier is one point shy of his career high of 58 points set last season…Chartier has just one goal in his last five games…Justin Kirkland is two goals shy of his career high 17 he scored last season...The opposition has opened the scoring in four of the last six games…Rodney Southam has more point this season in 26 games than he had in 63 games with the Tri City Americans over three seasons…The Rockets played 11 games without Madison Bowey and Josh Morrissey. The Rockets were 9-2-0-0 in those 11 games.…Gage Quinney has 4+3=7 in 10 games with the Rockets… The Rockets have played in 11-one goal games this season. The team is 7-2-0-2 in those games. The two-one goal losses in regulation time came against the Portland Winterhawks and Prince George Cougars…Tyson Baillie set a new career high with his 27th goal of the season Wednesday night. Baillie has 85 career goals and is 15 points shy of 200 for his career…The Rockets won their 30th game January 2nd; marking the 14th time in the last 15 seasons the franchise has achieved that mark. The only blemish over that stretch was a 22 win season in 2006-2007, the only time they have failed to make the playoffs….The Rockets are 40-8-1-1 in the last two seasons against teams in the BC Division…Nick Merkley will represent the WHL at the Top Prospects game later this month in St. Catharine’s Ontario….The Rockets have not been shut-out in 119 consecutive games. The last time the Rockets were held without a goal was March 3, 2013 in a 3-0 loss in Kamloops…Defenceman Riley Stadel turns 19 on Friday….Rockets Head Coach Dan Lambert (Jan 12th) and Assistant Coach Travis Crickard (Jan 11th) blew out candles a few days ago. Assistant Kris Mallette gets his ‘party started’ on January 19th…Kris Mallette was taken in the 3rd round of the 1997 NHL draft by Philadelphia, three rounds ahead of Matt Cooke, who has played one thousand 36 games in the NHL with Vancouver, Washington, Pittsburgh and the Minnesota Wild. Cooke was taken in the 6th round by the Canucks in 1997.       

Three Star Balloting:
Player:                          1st Star    2nd Star   3rd Star   Total 
Jackson Whistle:             7              4              2            13
Rourke Chartier:              5              4              2            11
Nick Merkley:                   5              2              4            11
Tyson Baillie:                   1              5              2             8
Madison Bowey:              2              2              3             7
*Other first star winners are: Leon Draisaitl, Tyrell Goulbourne and Cole Martin.
Who’s Hot: Leon Draisaitl has goals in three straight games…Tyson Baillie has 6+4=10 in his last 9 games….Rourke Chartier has 4+2=6 in his last 7 games…Chartier has points in 12 of his last 15 games…Cole Martin has 11 assists in his last 11 games…Justin Kirkland has 6+9=15 in his last 10 games…Rourke Chartier has 12 more goals (36) than he had all of last season. Chartier has goals in 19 of his last 26 games….Nick Merkley has 9+28=37 in his last 27 games. 

Walking wounded: 

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