|Shoot the Breeze Photography|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game two of a five game home stand tonight against the visiting Tri City Americans. The Rockets host Medicine Hat tomorrow night before welcoming Portland on January 29th and Victoria on January 30th. The Rockets are coming off a 7-4 win over the visiting Prince George Cougars on Tuesday night. Nick Merkley had two goals and two assists in the win. Dillon Dube had 1+2=3 and Rourke Chartier chipped in with three assists. This is the third of four meetings between the two teams this season. Back on January 9th, the Rockets earned a 7-5 win. The seasonal series closes in Tri City on March 13th. In the big picture, the Rockets have won 27 of their last 37 games overall and are 16-2-2-0 on home ice and 15-9-1-0 on the road. Overall; the Rockets have points in 25 of 31 games (22-6-3-0). The team has won 12 of its last 19 games.
Number Crunching: The Rockets have 27 games left in the regular season. Of those 27 games, 16 will be played on home ice. Of those 27 games, 13 are against BC Division rivals…The Rockets have been out-shot in 32 of 45 games this season…The Rockets have been to overtime in two of their last 5 home games and have been on the losing end of both…Seven of the teams last 10 games have been decided by a single goal. The Rockets are 4-1-2-0 in those one goal games…The Rockets are 31-11-3-0 after 45 games this season. Last season the team was 34-8-3-0 after 45 games…The team has scored 165 goals after 45 games this season, down 27 goals from the same point in 201-4-2015….The team has allowed 131 goals against, only 17 more than at the same time last season.
This and That: The Rockets are 13-5-0-0 in their last 18 games against the Americans including a perfect 9-0-0-0 record at home in the last five seasons…NHL Central Scouting has released its mid-term rankings. Dillon Dube, Lucas Johansen and Tomas Soustal have made the grade….The Rockets are rated this week as the 7th best team in the CHL Top 10 rankings. Last week they were rated 7th…Michael Herringer is making his 8th consecutive start tonight, which is a first for the soft spoken netminder…The 19 year-old has a career record of 24-7-1-0…Rourke Chartier has 55 goals in his last 73 regular season games….The Rockets have lost three straight overtime games on home ice…8 of the Rockets next 9 games are on home ice…Two former members of the Kelowna Rockets have made the NHL All-Star team. Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators is making his 5th appearance while Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars is making his second trip (NHL All-Star games was cancelled on lockout year and wasn’t played in Olympic year). Benn was first named an all-star in 2011-2012…January is a busy month for birthdays. Devante Stephens turned 19 (Jan 2), Jordan Borstmayer turned 18 (Jan 9), Travis Crickard turned 29 (Jan 11), Riley Stadel turned 20 (Jan 16), Kris Mallette turned 37 (Jan 19), Michael Herringer turns 20 (Jan 26), Tanner Wishnowski turns 19 (Jan 28) … Ten of Justin Kirkland’s 16 goals have been scored on the road this season….Jackson Whistle has started 25 of the last 39 games…The Rockets receive relief from the schedule maker when they play 9 of 10 at home from January 19th to February 8th….Cole Linaker recorded his 100th career point with an assist last Friday in Victoria.
Two picked for Top Prospects game: Second year players Lucas Johansen and Dillon Dube have been selected to play in the CHL Top Prospects game this Thursday in Vancouver. Both Johansen and Dube are playing with Team Cherry. It marks the first time since the 2011-2012 season that two members of the Rockets have played in the game after Colton Sissons and Damon Severson were afforded the luxury that season. Nick Merkley played in the game last season and was eventually chosen in the first round of the 2015 NHL draft by the Arizona Coyotes.
Who’s Hot: Calvin Thurkauf has points in 6 of his last 7 games. The rookie has 2+7=9 over that period…Rourke Chartier has points in 8 of his last 9 games. Over that period, the 19 year-old has 6+7=13 over that period…Chartier has 93 career goals and 93 career assists...Dillon Dube has 20 goals this season which is a career high….Dube has 6+5=11 in his last 9 games… Nick Merkley has 5+7=12 in his last 7 games…Kole Lind has points in 7 of his last 11 games. Lind has 5+5=10 over that stretch…Tyson Baillie has 2+4=6 in his last 4 games….Tyson Baillie has points in 28 of his last 33 games and has been held off the score-sheet only 9 times this season…Justin Kirkland has points in 13 of his last 21 games. Kirkland has 8+13=21 over that period.