Friday, January 30, 2015

Rockets game notes vs. Hurricanes

Shoot the Breeze Photography
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game three of a four game road trip tonight with a stop in Lethbridge against the Hurricanes. This is the third and final meeting of the season between the two teams. They met back on October 11th in Kelowna, with the Rockets scoring a 4-2 win. In the last meeting, December 10th in Lethbridge, the Rockets earning a 4-3 shootout win. Dillon Dube scored twice and Rodney Southam had a goal and an assist in the victory. Nick Merkley scored the game winner in the shootout. Jackson Whistle made 16 saves. The Rockets surrendered two power play goals by taking 9 trips to the penalty box. The Rockets are coming off a 2-1 shootout loss Wednesday night in Edmonton. Joe Gatenby scored the lone goal in the low scoring affair. The Rockets were 0 for 8 on the power play including seven consecutive chances when the game was tied at one goal apiece. Rookie Jake Morrissey allowed just one goal over 65 minutes. The loss snapped a three game winning streak after opening the trip Tuesday with a 4-3 shootout victory in Red Deer. Madison Bowey, Justin Kirkland and Tyson Baillie scored with Bowey getting the shootout winner. Following tonight’s tilt, the Rockets are in Kootenay/Cranbrook (Saturday). The Rockets next home game is February 6th against the Kamloops Blazers.        
This and That: The Rockets have been held to just one goal four times this season. Edmonton (road), Calgary (road) Regina (home) and Prince Albert (home) have turned the trick against the highest scoring team in the Western Conference...Nick Merkley has been held off the score-sheet three times in his last eight games. At the start of the season, Merkley was held off the score-sheet just three times in his first 27 regular season games…The Kelowna Rockets have scored the most goals on the road (109) in the WHL this season. That is an average of 4.36 goals per game on opposition ice…The Rockets are still on pace to set a new WHL record for wins on the road in one season. To set a new record (the record is 29 set by Kelowna/Portland) the Rockets must win 9 of their final 11 road games...The Rockets are again rated as the 2nd best team according to this week’s CHL Top 10 junior rankings….The Rockets have lost only twice in regulation time on the road this season. Those two losses came in Tri City and Calgary...The Rockets have points in 6 straight road games (5-0-0-1)….The Rockets are 49-9-2-1 on opposition ice in the last two seasons….The Rockets have 23 games left in the regular season. Of those 23, eleven will be played on the road with twelve on home ice…The Rockets closed out a five game home stand last Saturday going 3-2-0-0. The team out-scored the opposition 26-17. The Rockets suffered a 5-3 loss to Medicine Hat, a 7-1 win over Tri City, a 5-2 loss to the Seattle Thunderbird, a 5-3 win over the Everett Silvertips and a 9-3 win over the Tips….The Rockets have a league high 20 road wins this season...Justin Kirkland tied his career high with his 17th goal of the season Tuesday in Red Deer…...The Rockets played 11 games without Madison Bowey and Josh Morrissey. The Rockets were 9-2-0-0 in those 11 games.…The Rockets have played in 13-one goal games this season….The Rockets have not been shut-out in 125 consecutive games. The last time the Rockets were held without a goal was March 3, 2013 in a 3-0 loss in Kamloops…Tyrell Goulbourne was named the WHL Player of the Week. Goulbourne tallied seven points (3+4=7) in just two games last weekend, leading the Rockets to two victories over the visiting Everett Silvertips.
Rockets catch eye of NHLCSS: Three members of the Kelowna Rockets made the mid-term rankings for NHL’s Central Scouting Service. Nick Merkley is rated 13th, Devante Stephens is ranked 108th and 17 year-old defenceman Joe Gatenby is 134th among North American skaters. Stephens makes his first appearance on the list after failing to catch the eye of Central Scouting in the preliminary rankings. The 2015 draft will be held June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.      
Who’s Hot: Madison Bowey has 4+4=8 in his last 7 games…Leon Draisaitl has points in seven of his last nine games. The 19 year-old is 4+8=12 in those nine games…Tyson Baillie has 9+6=15 in his last 15 games….Rourke Chartier has 8+6=14 in his last 12 games…Chartier has points in 16 of his last 20 games…Cole Martin has 14 assists in his last 17 games…Justin Kirkland has 8+11=19 in his last 16 games…Rourke Chartier has 16 more goals (40) than he had all of last season. Chartier has goals in 22 of his last 31 games….Nick Merkley has 6+7=13 in January…Rourke Chartier has 5+6=11 in January…Tyson Baillie has 6+4=10 in January…Rookie goalie Jake Morrissey hasn’t allowed more than two goals per game in all seven appearances this season.        

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