Friday, May 1, 2015

Rockets/Winterhawks game notes

Tonight’s Preview: Playing in May is never a bad thing. The Kelowna Rockets and Portland Winterhawks meet tonight in game five of the Western Conference championship series. This best of seven is tied at two wins apiece with the Rockets winning games one and four while the Winterhawks earned victories in game two and three. Following game five tonight, the series heads back to Portland for game six on Sunday (5 P.M). If a seventh and deciding game is necessary, it will be played Tuesday night in Kelowna.

Series Scoring by Period:
                       1     2     3   Total
Rockets         1     8    2      11
Winterhawks 5     6    3      14

Game by Game Scores:
Game one: 3-2 Kelowna      Game three: 7-3 Portland    Game five: ?
Game two: 3-2 Portland       Game four: 3-2 Kelowna     Game six: ?

Broadcasters Notebook: The Winterhawks have opened the scoring in three of the four games…The Rockets have out-shot the Winterhawks in three of the four games…The Rockets best period in the series has been the second where they have scored eight of their 11 goals….Of the 25 goals scored between the two teams in the first four games, 14 have been scored in the middle frame….The Rockets have scored a power play goal in three of the four games, the exception being game one when both teams were 0 for 2….The Rockets are 4 for 13 (31%) on the power play in this series….The Winterhawks are 5 for 20 (25%) in the four games…Easy math shows you the Rockets have been shorthanded seven more times than Portland….In all four games, either the Rockets or Winterhawks have generated over 40 shots on net, but neither team has accomplished the feat in the same game…The Rockets had a series high 46 shots on net in game one.

Hot to Trot: Leon Draisaitl has scored in back-to-back games…Tyson Baillie’s ten game point streak was snapped in game two. Baillie had 7+6=13 over that period…Gage Quinney has goals in four of his last seven playoff games….Nick Merkley had his nine game point streak snapped Tuesday night. Merkley had 1+11=12 over that period....Madison Bowey had his nine game point streak Tuesday night. Bowey had 4+8=12 over that stretch….Leon Draisaitl had his seven game point streak snapped in game two. The 19 year-old had 2+11=13 in those seven games.

This and That: Nick Merkley has the same number of points (17) as he did in last year’s WHL playoffs, but in one fewer game…This is the 86th game of the season for the Rockets this evening. That includes 72 regular season games and now its 14th playoff game….Tyrell Goulbourne snapped a 10 game goal scoring drought in this year’s playoffs with the game winner in game four….It was Goulbourne’s first goal in 17 playoff games dating back to 2014 when he found the back of the net by scoring in back-to-back games in a second round series against Seattle…Goulbourne has a team high 47 playoff games under his belt…Tyson Baillie hasn’t scored in all four games in this series. Baillie found the back of the net five times in a second round series with Victoria…Madison Bowey has 43 games of playoff experience…The Rockets played in 14 post season games last season …Cole Martin has 43 playoff games on his resume….In total, the Rockets have 526 games of playoff experience in the lineup this evening…Rourke Chartier had 6 goals in 14 games in last year’s playoffs. In this year’s post season, the now 19 year-old (turned 19 April 3rd) has nine goals in twelve games….Only two Rockets celebrate birthdays in May. Joe Gatenby turns 18 on May 15th while Nick Merkley blows out the same number of candles on May 23rd.

Additional Info: The Rockets are back to the Western Conference final for a second consecutive season against the same team that knocked them out in five games one year ago. The Rockets are 10 and 3 in post season with a four game sweep over Tri City in round one and a five game series win over Victoria in round two. For what it’s worth, the Rockets and Winterhawks met four times this season, but hadn’t seen one another since late November prior to the start of the series. The Rockets were 1-1-2-0 in the four games. This is the eighth consecutive appearance in the post season for the Rockets and 19th time in the franchises 20 year history.

Playoff history vs. Winterhawks: These two teams are meeting for the fourth time ever in the playoffs. In the 2011 post season, the Winterhawks beat the Rockets in a second round series (4 games to 2). In 2012, the Winterhawks swept the Rockets in an opening round series in four straight games. In the 2014 post season, the Winterhawks eliminated the Rockets in the Western Conference final (4 games to 1).

Rockets best vs. Winterhawks: Rourke Chartier had 5+2=7 in the four game seasonal series against Portland. Madison Bowey was 1+3=4 while Nick Merkley chipped in with four assists. It should be noted that Cole Martin had two goals against the Winterhawks. Jackson Whistle played in all four games, posting a goals against average of 2.71 with an impressive save percentage of .928. Chase De Leo (3+1=4), Oliver Bjorkstrand (2+2=4) and Alex Schoenborn (2+2=4) paced Portland in the four games. Adin Hill was 2-0-0-0 with a goals against average of 1.78 and a save percentage of .941. 

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