|Shoot the Breeze Photography|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game two of a three game home stand tonight when they host the Everett Silvertips. The Rockets host the Tri City Americans tomorrow night before traveling to the Island for back-to-back games against the Victoria Royals next weekend. This is the third of four meetings between the Rockets and Tips this season. The Rockets are 0-1-1-0 in the first two games, losing last week 2-1 in overtime at home before suffering a 3-1 loss in Everett New Year’s Day. The Rockets are coming off a 5-4 win against the Victoria Royals Saturday night. Dillon Dube scored twice in the win while Nick Merkley had 1+2=3 in the team’s 28th victory of the season. The Rockets have won 23 of their last 32 games overall (23-7-1-1) and are 14-2-1-0 on home ice and 14-8-1-0 on the road. Overall; the Rockets have points in 21 of 26 games (19-5-2-0). The team has won 9 of its last 14 games.
Whistle out – Herringer in: The Kelowna Rockets announced this week that 20 year-old goaltender Jackson Whistle will spend in the neighbourhood of two to three weeks on the injury list with a lower body injury. Nineteen year-old Michael Herringer will be forced into full time duty. Herringer has started back-to-back games for the Rockets and will make a third straight appearance tonight against the Tips. Herringer made three consecutive appearances from September 27th to October 3rd. Last season, when Whistle suffered an appendectomy, Herringer started four consecutive games while sharing duties with third string goaltender Josh Morrissey. Whistle missed a total of 10 games from February 7th to February 27th.
Baillie in elite company: Twenty year-old Tyson Baillie will play in his 300th career regular season game tonight for the Kelowna Rockets. Baillie is one of nine players to accomplish the feat by playing all five seasons with the organization. Here is a list of the players that dressed in over 300 games, all with the Tacoma/Kelowna Rockets franchise.
1) Jason Deleurme (1993-1998) 341 games
2) Tyler Mosienko (2000-2005) 338 games
3) Brett Palin (2000-2005) 324 games
4) Cam Paddock (1999-2004) 323 games
5) Gavin McLeod (1996-2001) 321 games
6) Ryan Cuthbert (1998-2003) 319 games
7) Brett McLean (1994-1999) 308 games *
8) Ryan Wade (1994-1999) 304 games
9) Tyson Baillie (2012-2016) 300 games and counting
*Traded in 20 year-old season yet recorded 300+ games with Rockets before dealt to Brandon
This and That: The line of Tyson Baillie, Kole Lind and Dillon Dube have combined for 133 points this season…Can you name the only arena the Rockets have failed to visit this season? Answer at the bottom of ‘This and That’…13 of the Rockets next 19 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 turns 18 (Jan 9), Travis Crickard turns 29 (Jan 11), Riley Stadel turned 20 (Jan 16), Kris Mallette turns 37 (Jan 19), Michael Herringer turns 20 (Jan 26), Tanner Wishnowski turns 19 (Jan 28) … Nine of Justin Kirkland’s 13 goals have been scored on the road this season….Jackson Whistle has started 25 of the last 34 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 has 98 career points …Answer to trivia: The Rockets have failed to visit the Seattle Thunderbirds. They will do that with games January 31st and February 9th.
Who’s Hot: Dillon Dube has 17 goals this season. The 17 year-old’s next goal will be a career high. Dube had 17 goals last season….Dube has 3+2=5 in his last four games… Nick Merkley has 1+3=4 in his last two games…Kole Lind has 5+3=8 in his last 5 games…Tyson Baillie had his six game point streak snapped last Wednesday night. Baillie had 6+4=10 over that stretch….Tyson Baillie has points in 25 of his last 30 games……Justin Kirkland has points in 10 of his last 16 games. Kirkland has 5+12=17 over that period.