|Shoot the Breeze Photography|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game four of a five game home stand tonight against the visiting Portland Winterhawks. The Rockets have a busy weekend ahead of them, hosting Victoria tomorrow night before traveling to Seattle Sunday afternoon. This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the Rockets and Winterhawks. The Rockets are 3-0-0-0 in the seasonal series after 4-2, 5-2 and 8-5 wins. Overall, the Rockets have out-scored the Winterhawks 17-11. The Rockets are coming off a 4-0 home ice win against the Medicine Hat Saturday night. Michael Herringer made 16 saves for his third career shutout. Braydyn Chizen was named the 1st star with a goal and an assist. In the big picture, the Rockets have won 29 of their last 39 games overall and are 18-2-2-0 on home ice and 15-9-1-0 on the road. Overall; the Rockets have points in 27 of 33 games (24-6-3-0). The team has won 14 of its last 21 games.
Southam’s C: The Kelowna Rockets announced this week they have named 19 year-old Rodney Southam as the franchises 22nd captain. Southam was acquired in November, 2014 from the Tri City Americans for a 5th round bantam draft pick. Southam played in his 150th career WHL game last Saturday against the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Home Ice is Nice: Dillon Dube has scored the most goals on home ice of any player on the roster. Dube has 13 of his 20 goals at Prospera Place. Tyson Baillie is a close second with 12 of his 28 goals coming in front of the home town crowd. Nick Merkley has 10 home goals while Kole Lind has 7 goals on home ice.
Number Crunching: The Rockets have scored the first goal in 28 of 47 games this season. When they accomplish that goal, they are an impressive 23-2-3-0…The Rockets, as a team, have 26 fighting majors this season. That is rated as 10th highest among the 22 teams. Prince George leads the league with 56 fighting majors…The Rockets are tied with Edmonton for the fourth most minor penalties in the WHL. The Rockets have taken 255 minor penalties this season. League leading Prince George has taken 298…The Rockets have 25 games left in the regular season. Of those 25 games, 14 will be played on home ice. Of those 25 games, 13 are against BC Division rivals…The Rockets have been out-shot in 32 of 47 games this season…Seven of the team’s last 12 games have been decided by a single goal. The Rockets are 4-1-2-0 in those one goal games…The Rockets are 33-11-3-0 after 47 games this season. Last season the team was 36-8-3-0 after 47 games…The team has scored 174 goals after 47 games this season after scoring 206 goals at the same time last season.….The team has allowed 133 goals against, only 13 more than at the same time last season…These two teams (Rockets-Winterhawks) are a combined 40-0-2-0 when leading after 40 minutes of action.
This and That: 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 also rated 7th…Michael Herringer is making his 10th consecutive start tonight, which is a first for the soft spoken netminder…The 19 year-old has a career record of 26-7-1-0…Rourke Chartier has 56 goals in his last 75 regular season games….The Rockets have lost three straight overtime games on home ice…6 of the Rockets next 7 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 turned 20 (Jan 26), Tanner Wishnowski turned 19 (Jan 28).
Who’s Hot: Calvin Thurkauf has points in 8 of his last 9 games. The rookie has 4+7=11 over that period…Rourke Chartier has points in 10 of his last 11 games. Over that period, the 19 year-old has 7+9=16 over that period…Chartier has 94 career goals and 95 career assists...Dillon Dube has 20 goals this season which is a career high….Dube has 6+5=11 in his last 11 games… Nick Merkley has 5+11=16 in his last 9 games…Tyson Baillie has 4+4=8 in his last 6 games….Tyson Baillie has points in 30 of his last 35 games and has been held off the score-sheet only 9 times this season…Justin Kirkland has points in four of his last six games. Kirkland has 5+4=9 over that period.