Friday, January 16, 2015

Rockets vs. Seattle Thunderbirds

Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game three of a five game home stand against the Seattle Thunderbirds. This is the second of only four meetings between the two teams this season. The Rockets were a 6-4 winner back on October 4th. After tonight’s game the two teams conclude the seasonal series with games in Seattle (February 10th) before wrapping up the series at Prospera Place (March 18th). The Rockets were 1-0-0-1 in only two home games against the T-Birds last season, losing 4-3 in a shootout and winning by a 7-3 score. The Rockets have won five of their last six games following a 7-1 win over the visiting Tri City Americans on Wednesday. Dillon Dube and Rourke Chartier each scored twice in the win, the teams 34th of the season. Chance Braid, Justin Kirkland and Rodney Southam added singles in the lopsided win. The Rockets scored four-third period goals and ended the night with two power play goals and one shorthanded marker. Following tonight’s game the Rockets host the Everett Silvertips next Friday January 23rd and 24th for a rare double header. 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 team’s final extended road trip of the season.        

This and That: Rookie Dillon Dube has 10 goals in 19 games or on average (0.53) goals per game. If he had played in every game this season and avoided the injury bud, the 16 year-old would have projected to score 23 times on his current pace….By comparison, Nick Merkley scored 25 goals last season as a 16 year-old rookie. Rourke Chartier had 13 goals as a 16 year-old….Madison Bowey collected two assists Wednesday night, giving the 19 year-old defenceman 100 career assists and 150 career points….Jackson Whistle appeared in his 100th career game Wednesday against the Tri City Americans…The Rockets had 13 different players hit the score-sheet Wednesday night…The seven goals scored Wednesday was the second time the Rockets have put up seven goals on home ice this season. The Rockets were a 7-5 winner over the Vancouver Giants on October 1st…..Who will score the Kelowna Rockets 5,000th goal? The team, since re-locating from Tacoma to Kelowna has scored 4,997 times….The Rockets have 769 regular season wins in Kelowna dating back to the start of the 1995-96 season….Justin Kirkland is one goal shy of his career high 17 he scored last season...The opposition has opened the scoring in four of the last seven games…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 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…Tyrell Goulbourne will play in his 250th career game tonight against the T-Birds…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 120 consecutive games. The last time the Rockets were held without a goal was March 3, 2013 in a 3-0 loss in Kamloops…Happy Birthday to defenceman Riley Stadel who turned 19 today…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…Nick Merkley had 4 assists October 4th in Seattle….The Rockets are rated as the second best team in Canada according to this week’s CHL Top 10 rankings….  

Three Star Balloting:

Player:                          1st Star    2nd Star   3rd Star   Total 
Jackson Whistle:             7              4              2            13
Rourke Chartier:              6              4              2            12
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: Madison Bowey has 1+4=5 in his last two games…Leon Draisaitl is riding a four game point streak. The 19 year-old has goals in three of four games and 3+3=6 in four games……Tyson Baillie has 6+5=11 in his last 10 games….Rourke Chartier has 6+3=9 in his last 8 games…Chartier has points in 13 of his last 16 games…Cole Martin has 11 assists in his last 12 games…Justin Kirkland has 7+10=17 in his last 11 games…Rourke Chartier has 14 more goals (38) than he had all of last season. Chartier has goals in 20 of his last 27 games….Nick Merkley has 3+4=7 in January.  

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