Tonight’s Preview: With only 11 games left in the regular season, the Kelowna Rockets will face the Vancouver Giants three times. The Rockets make their first visit to Pacific Coliseum since November 2nd when Rourke Chartier scored twice and added an assist in a 5-3 win. Following tonight’s game the Rockets make return visits on March 6th and March 20th. The G-Men are in Kelowna on March 21st. In the eight game seasonal series the Rockets are 4-0-0-0, having out-scored the Giants 21-10. The Rockets are coming off a 4-2 win Wednesday night over the visiting Victoria Royals. The Rockets erased a two goal deficit by scoring four unanswered goals in the team’s 47th win of the season. Chance Braid led the way with a goal and an assist and a fight. This game against the Giants is the fifth straight against a BC Division rival. The Rockets host Calgary tomorrow night. The Rockets are 19-5-0-1 since the Christmas break. Brandon is conversely 21-3-2-0. Overall, the Rockets have points in 14 of their last 16 games (13-2-0-1).
Closing in on 100: The Kelowna Rockets enter the weekend with 98 points. The Rockets are trying to earn 100 or more points for a third consecutive season. A franchise record 118 points was set last season. The team has hit the 100 point plateau four times. They accomplished the feat in 2013-2014 (118 pts), 2012-2013 (108 pts), 2004-2005 (104 pts) and in 2002-2003 (109 pts).
A Banner season: The Kelowna Rockets are BC Division regular season champions. It is the 7th time the Rockets have won title since its inception in 2001-2002. The Rockets have claimed three consecutive BC Division banners (2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015) and have also won the title in 2010-2011, 2004-2005, 2003-2004 and 2002-2003. While the Rockets have won it 7 times, the Vancouver Giants have earned it five times.
This and That: Chance Braid earned the Gordie Howe Hattrick Wednesday night against Victoria. It is the second time Braid has turned the trick. As a member of the Prince George Cougars, Braid earned the badge of honour after scoring once and adding an assist and getting into a fight with Keegan Kanzig when the P.G Cougars beat the Royals November 28th…..Leon Draisaitl is playing in his 150th career game tonight….During the Rockets eight game home ice winning streak the team is 11 for 33 on power play…Of the Rockets four losses on the road this season, three of them have come in the second of back to back games….Five of the ten losses this season have been suffered in the second of back to back games…..Rourke Chartier is 4 goals shy of 50 this season. The last Rockets player to score 50 goals was Justin Keller during the 2005-2006 season. Keller scored 51 times that year….During this eight game home ice winning streak, the Rockets have out-scored the opposition 52-20…Jackson Whistle has missed nine games after having appendix surgery on February 6th. The Rockets are 7-2-0-0 in those games with Jake Morrissey winning four of the seven games…Riley Stadel has 2+15=17 in his last 17 games and has a goal and seven assists in his last six games playing as a forward…Justin Kirkland has points in nine of his last eleven games…The Rockets have been held to just one goal five times this season. Seattle (road), 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 second most goals on the road (131) in the WHL this season…The Rockets have lost only four times in regulation time on the road this season. Those four losses came in Victoria, Seattle, Tri City and Calgary...The Rockets have points in 10 of their last 12 road games (9-2-0-1)….The Rockets are 53-10-2-1 on opposition ice in the last two seasons….A win tonight and a loss by Everett will give the Rockets the Western Conference regular season championship.
200 Point Club: Nineteen year-old Tyson Baillie recorded his 200th career point against the Moose Jaw Warriors back on February 14th. Baillie now has 206 points in his four year career. Ready to join Baillie in the ‘200 Point Club’ is Leon Draisaitl, who has 198 career points heading into tonight’s game against the Giants. Josh Morrissey has 196 career points.
Dare to Compare: The Rockets have a record of 47-10-3-1 this season, good for 98 points. After 61 games last season the team was 48-9-0-4, which was good for 100 points. The team has scored 271 goals this season. At the same time last year after 61 games, 260 goals were scored and 155 goals were given up. This season the team has surrendered 154 goals against.
Hot to Trot: Leon Draisaitl has a six game point streak (5+10=15)…Tyson Baillie has a nine game point streak with five goals and 11 assists (5+11=16). Defenceman Josh Morrissey had an eleven game point streak snapped Wednesday night. Morrissey had (6+6=12) over that period.…Leon Draisaitl has eighteen points (5+13=18) in his last nine games.