Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Rockets/T-Birds preview

Leon Draisaitl - Shoot the Breeze Photography
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets enter the final week of the regular season with two of three games on home ice. The Rockets host the Seattle Thunderbirds tonight in the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two teams. The Rockets have a losing record against the T-Birds with a mark of 1-2-0-0. The T-Birds have out-scored the Rockets 11-9 in the three games. The Rockets host Seattle tonight before completing a home and home series this weekend against the Vancouver Giants. For the third Friday in the last four weeks the Rockets visit the Vancouver Giants before hosting the G-Men Saturday to close out the regular season. The Rockets are 23-8-1-1 since the Christmas break. Overall, the Rockets have points in 19 of their last 24 games (17-5-1-1). The Rockets are coming off a 2-1 win Saturday night over the visiting Kamloops Blazers. Rourke Chartier scored 47th goal of the season while Madison Bowey had a goal and an assist. Overall, the Rockets have lost two of their last four homes.

50 Goal Scorers: Rourke Chartier is attempting to join an allusive group. Only seven Tacoma/Kelowna players have hit the 50 goal mark. Four of those seven have hit the benchmark as a member of the Kelowna Rockets. Here are the sharp shooters:
1992-1993: Allan Egeland 56 goals     1995-1996: Robb Gordon 51 goals       2005-2006: Justin Keller: 51 goals                        
1993-1994: John Varga 60 goals         1997-1998: Jason Deleurme 51 goals   
1994-1995: *Vaclav Varada 50 goals   2002-2003: Jesse Schultz 53 goals

Most points in a season: The Rockets have 107 points this season. How does that rate among the highest point totals in club history?
2013-2014: 118    2014:2015: 107    
2002-2003: 109    2004-2005: 106
2012-2013: 108
Sharp Shooters vs. T-Birds: Nick Merkley has 2+4=6 in the three games in the seasonal series with the Seattle Thunderbirds. Rourke Chartier has 3+0=3 in the three games…Riley Stadel has 1+2=3…Leon Draisaitl does not have a point in two games against the T-Birds…Jackson Whistle has played in two of the three games, posting a goals against average of 3.66 and a save percentage of .833.  Michael Herringer has earned one start against Seattle with a goals against average of 1.57 and a save percentage of .935. Mathew Barzal leads the T-Birds with 2+3=5 in two games against the Rockets. Taran Kozun is 2-0-0-0 with a goals against average of 1.50 and a save percentage of .958.    

This and That: Madison Bowey is two points shy of his career high 60 points accumulated last season….Bowey has a career high 42 assists this season…Rourke Chartier has 23 more goals than he scored all of last season…Kole Lind and Jordan Borstmayer have joined the team for the remainder of the season. Both played for the Saskatoon Midget Contacts. Borstmayer is a third round pick from 2013 while Lind was the second to last player taken in the fourth round that year…Lind is the second player from Shaunavon, Saskatchewan to play for the Rockets. The other is J.J Hunter (1998-2000)….The Rockets are 6 goals shy of 300 this season. The team has scored 300 or more goals only five times in its 20 seasons in Kelowna. The team has scored 300 or more goals in two consecutive seasons…Cole Martin turned 21 on Sunday…Nick Merkley is the fastest Rockets player to reach 100 career assists. Merkley hit the milestone in 133 career games. The record was held by Shane McColgan, who had 100 career assists in 150 career games…Jackson Whistle missed ten games after undergoing appendix surgery on February 6th. The Rockets were 8-2-0-0 in those games…The Rockets have been held to just one goal seven times this season. Kamloops (road), 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 (143) in the WHL this season…Rourke Chartier had missed eight games with an UBI before returning last Saturday against Kamloops …Justin Kirkland has missed twelve straight games with a LBI…Josh Morrissey is missing his seventh straight game tonight with a LBI injury.

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.    

Dare to Compare: The Rockets have a record of 51-13-4-1 this season, good for 107 points. After 69 games last season the team was 54-11-0-4, which was good for 112 points. The team has scored 294 goals this season. At the same time last year after 69 games, 295 goals were scored and 173 goals were given up. This season the team has surrendered 175 goals against.  

Hot to Trot: Nick Merkley has 3+4-7 in his last five games….Madison Bowey has points in eight of his last nine games. Bowey has 2+7=9 over that stretch….Leon Draisaitl had his thirteen game point streak snapped Saturday. Bowey had 9+16=25 over that period. Draisaitl had a career high thirteen game point streak last season as a member of the PA Raiders…Leon Draisaitl has twenty-eight points (9+19=28) in his last seventeen games…Draisaitl has goals in seven of his last games 11.

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