Saturday, March 19, 2016

Rockets end season with offensive outburst

  • For the fourth consecutive season the Kelowna Rockets earned 100 points. The defending WHL champions wrapped up the 2015-2016 regular season Saturday night with a 10-1 home ice win over the visiting Vancouver Giants. The game saw former Rockets goaltender Jake Morrissey start against his old team. It was a game with little success for the younger brother of ex-Rockets defenceman Josh Morrissey. Jake surrendered 6 goals on 30 shots and was replaced by affiliated goalie David Tendeck in the second period. Tyson Baillie and Calvin Thurkauf each scored twice in the lopsided win with a total of 17 players hitting the score-sheet. Rookie Brodan Salmond, when called upon, looked sharp in his first start in front of the Prospera Place crowd. 
  • The win at home was the teams 27th of the season, which is one better than all of last season. Only the Seattle Thunderbirds in the Western Conference won more games on home ice than the Rockets did this season. The T-Birds won 29 times.
  • Tyson Baillie collected his team leading 42nd and 43rd goals of the season. Baille ends the regular season with a career high 95 points. Recognized before the game for his five seasons with the team, Baillie played 329 regular season games and collected an amazing 310 points. Baillie was a career +107. Only Tyler Soy (46) of the Victoria Royals scored more goals in the Western Conference this season. 
  • Tomas Soustal and Calvin Thurkauf combined to give the Rockets 91 points this season. It was refreshing to see two European born players make an impact on the score-sheet. Both are still categorized as 18 year old players.
  • Kole Lind's two assists Saturday against the Giants gave him 41 points in his rookie season. The Rockets have the bragging rights of having 10 players with 40 or more points this season. First place Victoria had seven while second place Brandon had 9.
  • The last time the Rockets put up 10 or more goals on home ice was last February in an 11-4 win over the Kamloops Blazers.
  • Devante Stephens was the only Rockets player to play in all 72 games this season.
  • Cole Linaker, who edged out Gage Quinney for the final overage spot, collected 50 points in 70 games. Linaker had a career high 18 goals and 32 assists. Only Tyson Baillie (12) scored more power play goals than Linaker (9). 
  • Lucas Johansen had 41 more points than he did last season. That is the greatest improvement, points wise, on the Rockets roster from one season to the next. 
  • The Rockets meet the Blazers in game one of the WHL playoffs next Friday night at Prospera Place. The Rockets were 5-3-0-0 in the eight games but the Blazers won the last three. Seven of the eight games were decided by a single goal.

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