Thursday, March 3, 2016

Rockets game notes vs. Blazers

Blazers HC Don Hay - Shoot the Breeze Photography 
Tonight’s Preview: With just three weeks left in the regular season, the Kelowna Rockets open a weekend home and home series with the Kamloops Blazers. These two teams haven’t seen one another since December 28th. The Rockets are 5-0-0-0 in the seasonal series, but don’t be fooled by the record. Of the five games, four have been decided by a single goal. The Rockets will face the Blazers three times in the next week. After tonight’s game, the two teams meet tomorrow at Prospera Place before wrapping up the seasonal series next Friday in Kelowna. The Rockets are 13-5-3-0 in their last 21 appearances at Sandman Centre and 29-9-3-0 in their last 41 regular season games against their closest BC Division rival. Tyson Baillie leads the team with 11 points (5+6=11) in the five games. Kole Lind (5 goals) and Tomas Soustal (4 goals) have also had strong seasonal series success against the Blazers. Michael Herringer is 1-0-0-0 with a goals against average of 1.70. These two teams haven’t met since the 2012-2013 post season when the Blazers were a power house, going all the way to the Western Conference final. Kamloops eliminated the Rockets in four games. They could meet in round one.

Rockets roll’n: The Rockets enter the game a single point back of the Victoria Royals for first place in the WHL. The Rockets do have two games in hand on the Royals. The Rockets are coming off a 4-3 shootout win Saturday night over the Spokane Chiefs. Tomas Soustal and Justin Kirkland scored in the shootout. Rourke Chartier and Jonathan Smart scored in regulation time. In the big picture, the Rockets have points in 38 of 49 games (35-11-3-0).

Mr. 300: Last Friday, Tyson Baillie became only the fifth player in Tacoma/Kelowna Rockets franchise history to record over 300 points. Baillie joins Brett McLean, the franchise leader with 375 points (1994-1999), John Varga (333 points from 1991-95), Jason Deleurme (313 points from 1994-1999) and Marty Flichel (301 career points from 1992-1996) on that list. Baillie has 301 career points (132+169=301) in 320 regular season games.

Rockets Career Games Played List:
1)     Jason Deleurme: 341 games   5)  Tyson Baillie: 320 games
2)     Tyler Mosienko: 338 games     6)  Ryan Cuthbert: 319 games 
3)     Brett Palin: 324 games             7)  Brett McLean: 308 games 
4)     Gavin McLeod: 321 games

Number Crunching Michael Herringer has started in 22 of the teams last 25 games…Tyson Baillie is 14 points shy of 100. The last Rockets player to hit 100 points was Colin Long in 2007-2008….Justin Kirkland has scored the game winning goal in three of the teams last five wins…The Rockets have won three straight and 7 of their last 8 games overall...The Rockets are a combined 72-1-5-0 when leading after two periods when you combine this seasons totals and last seasons….The Rockets are one of only three teams in the WHL that have not lost when leading after 40 minutes. The Rockets are 31-0-2-0. The Kamloops Blazers and Prince Albert Raiders are also without a regulation loss after two periods …The Rockets are a combined 54-18-8-0 against BC Division teams on the road in the last five seasons…The Rockets are 24-3-1-0 when Tyson Baillie scores. The only regulation losses when the 20 year-old finds the back of the net were against Vancouver, Red Deer and Saskatoon…..The Rockets are attempting to become the first team in the WHL to reach the 50 win plateau in four straight seasons. For that to happen, the team must win 6 of their final 9 games…The Rockets have 9 games left in the regular season. Of those 9 games, 5 will be played on home ice. Of those 9 games, 7 are against BC Division rivals…The Rockets were 13-1-0-0 against Central Division opponents this season. The only loss came in Lethbridge in the sixth game of the season….The Rockets have been out-shot in 39 of 63 games this season… Riley Stadel has 11 fighting majors this season….Justin Kirkland has 31 points in his last 24 games.

Who’s Hot: Lucas Johansen had 2+9=11 in February and has points in 6 of his last 8 games…Johansen has (1+6=7) over that period. Johansen has points in 10 of his last 13 games…Cole Linaker is riding an 8 game point streak (3+5=8)…Linaker has a career high 43 points, four more point than a season ago…Tyson Baillie is riding an 8 game point streak (6+5=11)…Baillie has points in 10 of his last 11 games…Justin Kirkland has an 8 game point streak (4+9=13)…Kirkland has points in 10 of his last 11 games…The Rockets are 206-56-11-6 in their last 279 regular season games dating back to the start of the 2012-2013 campaign.

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