Friday, October 21, 2016

Rockets vs. Americans

Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets wrap up a four game home stand tonight against the visiting Tri City Americans. This is the first of four games between the two teams this season. The Americans make a return visit on March 4th before the Rockets make two separate visits to Kennewick on November 30th and December 9th. Last season, these two teams met four times with the Rockets winning three of the four games. The Rockets were a 4-2 and 7-5 winner at Prospera Place and split a pair of games at Toyota Center, winning 3-1 and losing 6-4. The Rockets are coming off a 4-3 overtime win Wednesday night over the Everett Silvertips. Lucas Johansen scored the game winning goal. Nolan Foote, Devante Stephens and Rodney Southam, all with their first goals of the season, helped the Rockets snap a three game losing streak. The Rockets are in a stretch of playing five of their next six games against a U.S based team. The Rockets visit the Seattle Thunderbirds tomorrow night. The team travels for two games to Portland, Oregon on October 29th and 30th.

Hockey Canada Calls: Three members of the Kelowna Rockets will represent the WHL and Hockey Canada, at the CHL Canada-Russia series. Team WHL, who’s roster consists of Nick Merkley, Dillon Dube and Cal Foote, will compete against the Russian Selects in games November 7th in Prince George and November 8th in Edmonton. The Rockets 

Let’s make a Deal: A rare trade between the Kelowna Rockets and Spokane Chiefs was consummated on Monday. The Rockets traded 19 year-old Tanner Wishnowski to the Chiefs for 16 year-old prospect Colum McGauley. McGauley, a 4th round pick of the Chiefs, is playing this season with the Nelson Leafs. It is the first trade between the two organizations in 12 years. The last one was in 2004.

Milestone Makers: Nick Merkley has played 188 WHL regular season games….Jake Kryski is 5 games shy of 150 games in his career…16 year-old Nolan Foote earned his first career point with an assist Friday against the Saskatoon Blades....Riley Stadel has 40 career WHL fights (1 at Memorial Cup). Rodney Southam has 29…Nick Merkley is two points shy of 200 for his WHL career.

Broadcasters Bits: The team reduced its roster last Tuesday by releasing 19 year-old forward Tate Coughlin. Originally listed by the team, Coughlin played 107 games with the RocketsSixteen year-old Nolan Foote is one of 66 players participating in the 2016 Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario October 27th to November 5th ....The Rockets have acquired 17 year-old forward Leif Mattson from the Brandon Wheat Kings for a 9th round bantam pick. Mattson, from Thompson, Manitoba, was the Wheat Kings 8th round selection in 2014Nick Merkley is three points shy of 200 for his career…The Rockets lead the WHL in penalty minutes with 212….The Rockets have been shorthanded a league high 63 times….Nine members of the Rockets participated in NHL training camps. Tomas Soustal and Gordie Ballhorn earned tryouts with Edmonton and Dallas respectively. Nick Merkley (Arizona), Lucas Johansen (Washington), Dillon Dube (Calgary), Devante Stephens (Buffalo), Calvin Thurkauf (Columbus), Braydyn Chizen (Minnesota) and Justin Kirkland (Nashville) are all drafted players.

Three Identified by NHLCS: Three members of the Kelowna Rockets have been named to NHL Central Scouting’s ‘Player’s to Watch List’. Defenceman Cal Foote is an ‘A’ prospect. Kole Lind is a ‘B’ prospect while defenceman Jonathan Smart is a ‘C’ prospect. The NHL draft is this June in Chicago. Foote’s father, Adam, was a second round pick of the Quebec Nordiques (22nd overall) in 1989. Adam Foote played his junior hockey with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Roster Stats:
Player total: 23
Year by Year Breakdown:
20’s – 3   Stadel, Herringer, Southam
19’s – 6   Johansen, Merkley, Soustal, Stephens, Ballhorn
18’s – 7   Dube, Kryski, Lind, Borstmayer, Chizen, Salmond, Thurkauf
17’s -  6   C. Foote, Topping, Bruggen-Cate, Cowell, Smart, Mattson
16’s – 2   N. Foote, Belcourt

Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150

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