Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play a rare home game this month when they welcome the Vancouver Giants this afternoon to Prospera Place. This is the second meeting of the season between the two teams after the Giants were a 5-2 winner back on September 27th. In that game, the Rockets third game in three nights to start the season, the Giants built up a 5-0 lead before Tomas Soustal and Lucas Johansen scored in the team’s first loss of the season. Michael Herringer was tagged with the loss in goal. The Rockets are riding a season high four game winning streak after back-to-back wins in Portland last weekend. In Saturday’s 8-5 victory, the Rockets erased a three goal deficit by scoring the next five goals. Kole Lind, Cole Linaker, Rodney Southam and Tyson Baillie each had a goal and two assists in the win. Justin Kirkland had two goals, including the game winner in the third period. The Rockets have won eight of their last ten games overall and are 8-3-0-0 on the road. Following tonight’s game, the Rockets are in Spokane Saturday before traveling to Kamloops next Wednesday. The next home game is Friday November 20th against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.
Four game winning streak data: The Rockets have out-scored the opposition 21-12. Of the 21 goals in those four games, only four have been scored in the first period. The big period has been the third where the team has found the back of the net 11 times. In the second period the Rockets have scored six goals. Seven of the 12 goals the team has surrendered during this four game winning streak have come in the third period. During the winning streak the Rockets have scored 7 power play goals on 17 chances (41%).
Specialty teams not ordinary: The Rockets power play has struck for at least one goal in 8 consecutive games. Over that span it is 13 for 35 (37%). The penalty killing unit has killed off 34 of 39 penalties against them over that same 8 game stretch.
Baillie Approaching 250! Overage forward Tyson Baillie is two points shy of 250 for his career. Only four other players have recorded that many points, all wearing a Rockets uniform. Brett McLean had 375 points before being traded to Brandon in his 20 year-old season. John Varga had 333 career points with Tacoma. Jason Deleurme had 313 career points while Kiel McLeod had 261 career points.
Head to Head vs. Giants: The Rockets were 8-0-0-0 against the Giants last season. In the last five seasons the Rockets have 27 wins in 33 regular season games against their BC Division opponent. The team has lost just three times in regulation time with the other three losses coming in overtime. The Rockets have won 16 consecutive home games against the G-Men. The last loss was March 19/2011 in a 4-3 setback. Andrej Stastny scored the game winner at the midway point of the third period on Adam Brown. Zach Franko, Colton Sissons and Geordie Wudrick scored in a losing cause.
‘Linny’ let’s loose: Overage forward Cole Linaker is off to a great start to the season. The 20 year-old has 7+6=13 in 16 games. Linaker has goals in four of his last six games and goals in five of his last eight. Linaker also has points in five of his last six games. Linaker is playing in game #200 this afternoon against the G-Men.
This and That: Nick Merkley is the WHL POW. Merkley had 4=4=8 in three wins last week…..Tyson Baillie and Lucas Johansen share the same birthday. The two were born on November 16th. Baillie will turn 20 while Johansen will turn 18….Jackson Whistle has started 9 of the last 12 games…Tyson Baillie has averaged 28 goals over his last three seasons…The Rockets next play three games in three nights January 29th, 30th and 31st with two of those three games on home ice….The Rockets had two players taken in the NHL draft. Nick Merkley was taken in the first round by Arizona. Devante Stephens was chosen in the 5th round by Buffalo…Cole Linaker (Oilers), Tomas Soustal (Flames) and Tyson Baillie (Flames) all received free agent tryouts…The Rockets were 3-2-0-0 in five games during the pre-season.
Who’s Hot: Kole Lind has 7 points (3+4=7) in his last eight games…Tyson Baillie has 7+14=21 in his last 10 games…Baillie is riding a eight game point streak (6+13=19) over that period …Dillon Dube has 8+10=18 in his last 9 games and has collected 15 points in his last eight games…Dillon Dube has points in 11 of 15 games this season….Lucas Johansen has three more point this season as he did all of last year…Nick Merkley has 5+10=15 in his last 9 games. Who’s Not: Tomas Soustal hasn’t scored in 9 straight games.