Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets open the final month of the regular season with a road game against the Everett Silvertips. This is the final trip south of the border for the team this season (playoffs excluded).This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the top two teams in the Western Conference. The Rockets are 3-0-0-0 in the first three games, having out-scored the Tips 19-10. The Rockets have won by scores of 5-4 OTW, 5-3 and 9-3. The 5-4 overtime win came in Everett back on October 3rd. This is the start of back-to-back games on the road. The Rockets are in Vancouver Friday night before hosting Spokane on Saturday. The Rockets are coming off a 2-1 loss Saturday night to the visiting Calgary Hitmen. Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring before he was ejected from the game on a controversial five minute major and game misconduct penalty for goaltender interference. The Hitmen won the game with just over four minutes left in the third period. Despite the loss, the Rockets earned the Western Conference regular season banner with Everett’s loss to the Prince George Cougars. The Rockets are 20-6-0-1 since the Christmas break. Brandon is conversely 22-3-2-1. Overall, the Rockets have points in 15 of their last 18 games (14-3-0-1).
100 Points – Again! The Kelowna Rockets earned their 100th point of the season last Friday in a 4-0 win in Vancouver. It is the third consecutive season the team has earned 100 or more points. A franchise record 118 points was set last season. The team has hit the 100 point plateau five times now. They also 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: Madison Bowey and Tyson Baillie each played in their 250th career WHL games Saturday night….Leon Draisailt was the team’s top scoring in February. Draisaitl had 7+13=20. Only Brandon’s Tim McGauley (24 pts) and Portland’s Oliver Bjorkstrand (21 pts) had more points in February than Draisaitl did. Tyson Baillie had 5+8=13 in February while Gage Quinney (2+9=11) and Nick Merkley (1+10=11) were next on that list. The biggest surprise in February was Riley Stadel (2+8=10), who had as many points as Madison Bowey did (2+8=10)…During the Rockets eight game home ice winning streak, which was snapped Saturday night by Calgary, the team was 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….six of the eleven 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….Jackson Whistle missed ten games after undergoing appendix surgery on February 6th. The Rockets were 8-2-0-0 in those games…Michael Herringer had started four consecutive games up until Whistle’s return Saturday night…The Rockets have been held to just one goal six times this season. Seattle (road), Edmonton (road), Calgary (twice – once on road and once at home), 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 (135) 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 11 of their last 13 road games (10-2-0-1)….The Rockets are 54-10-2-1 on opposition ice in the last two seasons.
Dare to Compare: The Rockets have a record of 48-11-3-1 this season, good for 100 points. After 63 games last season the team was 50-9-0-4, which was good for 104 points. The team has scored 276 goals this season. At the same time last year after 63 games, 273 goals were scored and 163 goals were given up. This season the team has surrendered 156 goals against.
Hot to Trot: Leon Draisaitl has an eight game point streak (7+10=17). Driasaitl had a career high 12 game point streak last season as a member of the PA Raiders…Tyson Baillie had his 10 game point streak end Saturday night. Baillie had five goals and twelve assists (5+12=17). Defenceman Josh Morrissey had an eleven game point streak snapped last Wednesday. Morrissey had (6+6=12) over that period.…Leon Draisaitl has twenty points (7+13=19) in his last eleven games…Draisaitl has goals in five straight games…Draisaitl’s goal Saturday was his 200th career point.
Another 40 win season: The Kelowna Rockets have won 40 games for the 11th time in franchise history. Here is the breakdown of 40 win seasons:
2014-2015: 48 wins and counting
2013-2014: 57 wins 2008-2009: 47 wins 1994-1995: 43 wins (Tacoma)
2012-2013: 52 wins 2005-2006: 46 wins 1992-1993: 45 wins (Tacoma)
2010-2011: 43 wins 2003-2004: 47 wins
2004-2005: 45 wins 2002-2003: 51 wins