|Shoot the Breeze Photography|
Tonight’s Preview: Welcome to the February portion of the Kelowna Rockets schedule. The team opens the month with a home and home set with the Kamloops Blazers. The Rockets visit the Blazers tomorrow night. This the start of three meetings between these two BC Division rivals this month (tonight, tomorrow and February 18th). The seasonal series will come to an end with back-to-back games on March 13th and 14th. The Rockets have out-scored the Blazers 24-12 in the first five games and are 5-0-0-0. The Rockets are coming off a highly successful Central Division road trip by picking up points in all four games. The only game where the Rockets failed to earn a win was in a 2-1 shootout loss in Edmonton. The Rockets were a 4-3 shootout winner in Red Deer, a 2-1 shootout loser in Edmonton, a 6-3 victory in Lethbridge and a 5-1 win in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice. Five of the Rockets next seven games are on home ice. The only two road games are in Kamloops tomorrow and in Seattle this Tuesday. The Rockets are 11-3-0-1 since the Christmas break. The Rockets host Prince George on BC Family Day (Monday February 9th) at a special time of 2:05 pm. Nine of the team’s 12 games in February are against BC Division rivals.
Seasonal Series breakdown vs. Blazers:
1) September 20: 6-1 win in Kelowna 4) January 2: 6-4 win in Kamloops
2) October 15: 6-4 win in Kamloops 5) January 9: 2-1 shootout win in Kamloops
3) December 27: 4-2 win in Kelowna 6) Tonight
Going for 40!!: The Kelowna Rockets are one win shy of 40 this season. If the hockey club can win 40 games this season, it would mark the 11th time in franchise history that this has happened. Here is the breakdown of 40 win seasons:
2013-2014: 57 wins 2004-2005: 45 wins
2012-2013: 52 wins 2003-2004: 47 wins
2010-2011: 43 wins 2002-2003: 51 wins
2008-2009: 47 wins 1994-1995: 43 wins (Tacoma)
2005-2006: 46 wins 1992-1993: 45 wins (Tacoma)
Broadcasters Notes: Gage Quinney has three goals in his last two games….Leon Draisaitl has just one career three goal game over his WHL career….Madison Bowey has five goals in his last nine games…Ten of Bowey’s thirteen goals this season have been scored on home ice….Tyrell Goulbourne has 17 goals this season. Nine of those 17 goals have been scored in four games…Madison Bowey and Josh Morrissey have been paired together in just one of nine games since they rejoined the team from the World Junior Hockey Championships.
This and That: The Kelowna Rockets celebrate two birthdays this month. Mitch Wheaton turns 20 today while Tomas Soustal turns 18 on February 15th….Nick Merkley, Rourke Chartier and Tyson Baillie led the Rockets in scoring in January with identical 6+8=14 totals. Leon Draisaitl led the team in goals in January with seven….Josh Morrisey has 1+6=7 in nine games with the Rockets this season and is +9 in his last six games…Rodney Southam is playing in his 98th career game tonight…..Chance Braid is playing in his 246th career game tonight against the Blazers….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...The Kelowna Rockets have scored the most goals on the road (120) 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 seven of their final nine road games...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 8 straight road games (7-0-0-1)….The Rockets are 51-9-2-1 on opposition ice in the last two seasons….The Rockets have 21 games left in the regular season. Of those 21, nine will be played on the road with twelve on home ice….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.
Who’s Hot: Madison Bowey has 5+4=9 in his last nine games…Leon Draisaitl has points in nine of his first 11 games. The 19 year-old is 7+10=17 in those eleven games…Tyson Baillie has 9+10=19 in his last 17 games….Rourke Chartier has 9+8=17 in his last 14 games…Chartier has points in 18 of his last 22 games…Cole Martin has 15 assists in his last 19 games…Justin Kirkland has 9+14=23 in his last 18 games…Rourke Chartier has 17 more goals (41) than he had all of last season. Chartier has goals in 23 of his last 33 games….Rookie goalie Jake Morrissey hasn’t allowed more than two goals per game in all seven appearances this season.