|Mathew Barzal - Shoot the Breeze Photography|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets wrap up a three game home stand tonight against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. This is the first of only four meetings between these two teams this season. The T-Birds make a return visit on February 8th. The Rockets make two appearances in Kent on January 28th and February 9th. Last season the T-Birds beat the Rockets twice at Prospera Place by scores of 5-2 and 3-2 in overtime. The Rockets were a 6-2 winner in Seattle before falling 2-1 also at ShoWare Center.
The Rockets have won 12 of their last 15 games overall (12-2-0-1) and are 8-2-0-0 on home ice and 9-3-1-0 on the road. Following tonight’s game, the Rockets travel to the Island to play the Victoria Royals this weekend. Overall, the Rockets have points in 9 straight games (8-0-1-0).
Baillie POW Honours: Tyson Baillie is the WHL Player of the Week. Baillie had 3+4=7 in three wins last week and was a +5. Baillie is second in WHL scoring and leads the team in goals, assists, points, power play goals and is tied for the team lead in game winning goals with three. Baillie is only four points shy of the Rockets lead in penalty minutes.
November Notables: Tyson Baillie has 6+8=14 in the month of November. Nick Merkley has 6+7=13 in the month while Justin Kirkland has 3+7=10. Kole Lind has 3+4=7. Cole Linaker has 2+4=6 in November.
Tyson Baillie hits record books: Tyson Baillie had two assists last Wednesday in a 4-3 overtime win in Kamloops. Baillie now has 256 career points, becoming only the 5th player in Rockets franchise history to reach the 250 point plateau. 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.
This and That: Three members of the Rockets have been rated by NHL Central Scouting. Lucas Johansen and Dillon Dube are rated as ‘B’ prospects for June’s draft in Buffalo. Tomas Soustal, who was not selected last year, is ranked as a ‘C’ prospect…Baillie has points in 12 of his last 13 games…Baillie has been held off the score sheet in just five of 23 games…Rookie Gordie Ballhorn leads the Rockets with a +14 rating…Rodney Southam is two goals shy from his career high 7 goals he scored last season….The Rockets have been to overtime in three of the last six games. The Rockets have won once in overtime and lost once in the extra period. One overtime game decided nothing and was reduced to the game ending in a shootout victory…. Cal Foote is the next player to blow out candles. Foote turns 17 on December 13th. December birthdays are rare on the Rockets roster. The last December birthday was Cody Chikie and Filip Vasko when the two suited up for the team during the 2011-2012 campaign….The Rockets are rated as the 6th best team in the country according to the CHL Top 10 rankings this week. The Rockets were rated 5th at the start of the season….Six of Justin Kirkland’s eight goals have been scored on the road this season….Jackson Whistle has started 14 of the last 18 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.
Who’s Hot: Kole Lind had a three game point streak snapped Saturday. Lind had 1+2=3 over that period…Rodney Southam has four goals in his last 7 games and 4+3=7 in his last 7…Tanner Wishnowski has two goals in his last 5 games….Nick Merkley has 6+6=12 in 8 games in the month of November….Kole Lind has 2+4=6 in his last 6 games…Tyson Baillie has 10+20=30 in his last 15 games …Dillon Dube has 8+10=18 in his last 9 games and has collected 15 points in his last eight games….Lucas Johansen has four more point this season as he did all of last year.
Man Games Lost to Injury/Illness/Suspension: 63 games
Jackson Whistle: 3 games Rourke Chartier: 16 games
Nick Merkley: 3 games Jonathan Smart: 13 games
Dillon Dube – 2 game suspension Tanner Wishnowski – 8 game
Tomas Soustal – 2 game Riley Stadel – 8 games
Dillon Dube – 5 games UBI Lucas Johansen 2 game