|Shoot the Breeze Photography|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game two of a three game road trip tonight in Prince George. This is the 6th of 8 meetings between the two teams this season. The Rockets are 3-2-0-0 in the first five games, having split a pair of games at CN Centre back in October (Oct 16th and 17th – 3-0 loss and 6-2 win). The Rockets are 15-3-0-0 in their last 18 regular season appearances in Prince George dating back five seasons. These two teams last met January 19th, in Kelowna, with the Rockets earning a 7-4 win. The Rockets are coming off a 6-0 loss in Seattle Tuesday night. It marked the fourth time this season the hockey club has been shut out. In the big picture, the Rockets have won 33 of their last 47 games overall and are 22-4-2-0 on home ice and 15-11-1-0 on the road. The Rockets have points in 31 of 41 games (28-10-3-0). The team has won 18 of its last 29 games. After these two games this weekend, the Rockets head home before hosting the Red Deer Rebels Tuesday night.
Digging Deeper: The Kelowna Rockets leading scorer in the seasonal series against the Prince George Cougars is Dillon Dube. Dube has 5+6=11 in five games. Tyson Baillie has 2+7=9 in the five games while Nick Merkley has 3+5=8 in the five games. Michael Herringer is 3-0-0-0 against Prince George with a goal against average of 2.67. When you combine the two team’s records when leading after 40 minutes, it translates to 47-1-2-1. The Rockets have taken the 4th most minor penalties in the WHL.vs. Prince George have taken the most penalties.
Number Crunching: The Rockets are a combined 51-17-8-0 against BC Division teams on the road in the last five seasons…Rockets boast 9 players with ten or more goals…The Rockets are 20-2-1-0 when Tyson Baillie scores. The only regulation losses when the 20 year-old finds the back of the net were against Red Deer and Saskatoon…..The Rockets are attempting to become the first team to reach the 50 win plateau in four straight seasons. For that to happen, the team must win 13 of their final 17 games or they can suffer only 4 more regular losses in order to hit the 50 win mark…Did you know rookie Kole Lind has not earned a power play point this season?….The Rockets have only trailed heading into the third period 16 times this season. They are 3-13-0-0 in those games…. Michael Herringer is making his 18th straight start tonight…Torrie Jung started 19 straight games in 2006-2007…Kevin Swanson started 38 straight games in 1999-2000…The Rockets have scored the first goal in 30 of 55 games this season. When they accomplish that goal, they are an impressive 24-3-3-0…The Rockets have 17 games left in the regular season. Of those 17 games, 8 will be played on home ice. Of those 17 games, 12 are against BC Division rivals…The Rockets have been out-shot in 36 of 55 games this season…The Rockets are the only team in the WHL without a 20 or 19 year-old defenceman and only one of four teams without an average defenceman.
This and That: Joe Gatenby returns to the line-up tonight after missing six games with a lower body injury. Gatenbty was hurt January 30th vs. Victoria….Jackson Whistle has missed 17 games with a lower body injury….The Rockets play 5 of their next 7 games on the road….The Rockets lost 8 games in regulation time at Prospera Place last season….The Rockets added 17 year-old goaltender Brody Salmond for the remainder of the season. Salmond was the Rockets 10th round bantam pick in the 2010 WHL draft and was playing this season in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Camrose Kodiaks. Salmond is the son of Hockey Canada’s Scott Salmond. Scott Salmond had a brief stint with the Kelowna Spartans in 1990-91…The Rockets are rated this week as the 7th best team in the CHL Top 10 rankings. Last week they were also rated 6th …The Rockets play 13 games in 25 nights in the month of February…Only one birthday to celebrate in February. Tomas Soustal turns 19 on February 15th… The Kelowna Rockets named 19 year-old Rodney Southam as the franchises 22nd captain on January 25th. Southam was acquired in November, 2014 from the Tri City Americans for a 5th round bantam draft pick.
Who’s Hot: Calvin Thurkauf has points in 10 of his last 17 games. The rookie has 5+10=15 over that period…Rourke Chartier has points in 12 of his last 19 games. Over that period, the 19 year-old has 12+9=21…Chartier has 99 career goals and 95 career assists...Dillon Dube has 21 goals this season which is a career high….Dube has 7+9=16 in his last 19 games… Nick Merkley has 6+13=19 in his last 14 games…Tyson Baillie has 7+7=14 in his last 14 games….Tyson Baillie has points in 33 of his last 43 games and has been held off the score-sheet 14 times this season…Justin Kirkland has points in 8 of his last 14 games. Kirkland has 9+8=17 over that period.