|Chiefs HC Don Nachbaur|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets open a stretch of playing four games in five nights when they welcome the Spokane Chiefs this evening to Prospera Place. The team hosts Calgary tomorrow, Seattle on Monday and travel to Kent to face the T-Birds on Tuesday night. The Rockets are coming off a 2-1 win Tuesday night over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. Tomas Soustal snapped out of a 14 game goal scoring drought with two goals in the one goal win. Michael Herringer was named the first star with yet another terrific performance. The Rockets were 0 for 2 on the power play and killed off both Hurricane power play chances. In the big picture, the Rockets have won 31 of their last 43 games overall and are 20-3-2-0 on home ice and 15-10-1-0 on the road. The Rockets have points in 29 of 37 games (26-8-3-0). The team has won 16 of its last 25 games.
Seasonal Series vs Spokane: These two teams are meeting for only the second time this season. Back on November 14th, in Spokane, the Chiefs were a 4-3 winner in overtime. The Chiefs make a return visit on February 27th before the seasonal series concludes March 12th in Spokane. In the last 17 regular season games between these two teams, the Rockets are 10-5-1-1. Gordie Ballhorm leads the Rockets in scoring against the Chiefs in the seasonal series with 1+1=2.
Number Crunching: The Rockets are 18-2-1-0 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 have lost 13 games in regular time this season. That is the exact same number of losses from all of last season….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 15 of their final 21 games or they can suffer only six 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?…Did you know that Devante Stephens and rookie Gordie Ballhorn are the only two Rockets to play in all 51 games this season? The last rookie to play in all 72 games was Zach Franko in 2010-2011….The Rockets have only trailed heading into the third period 13 times this season. They are 2-11-0-0 in those games…. Michael Herringer is making his 14th 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 51 games this season. When they accomplish that goal, they are an impressive 24-3-3-0…The Rockets have 21 games left in the regular season. Of those 21 games, 11 will be played on home ice. Of those 21 games, 12 are against BC Division rivals…The Rockets have been out-shot in 34 of 51 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…The Rockets have not lost three straight games this season.
This and That: 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 6th best team in the CHL Top 10 rankings. Last week they were also rated 7th …Five of the team’s next eight games are on home ice. The only road games over that stretch are in Seattle next Tuesday, in Prince George for back-to-back games February 12th and 13th and in Vancouver on February 20th…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 9 of his last 13 games. The rookie has 4+10=14 over that period…Rourke Chartier has points in 11 of his last 15 games. Over that period, the 19 year-old has 9+9=18…Chartier has 96 career goals and 95 career assists...Dillon Dube has 20 goals this season which is a career high….Dube has 6+7=13 in his last 15 games… Nick Merkley has 6+13=19 in his last 13 games…Tyson Baillie has 5+4=9 in his last 10 games….Tyson Baillie has points in 31 of his last 39 games and has been held off the score-sheet 12 times this season…Justin Kirkland has points in 6 of his last 10 games. Kirkland has 7+5=12 over that period.