Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game three of a four game home stand tonight when they welcome the Everett Silvertips to Prospera Place. This is one of four meetings between these two teams this season. The Tips make a return visit on March 15th. The Rockets stop in Everett on January 16th and March 3rd. Last season, the Rockets lost twice to Everett at Prospera Place in overtime. The scores were 3-2 and 2-1. The teams split games in Everett with the Rockets winning 6-5 and losing 3-1. In the last 6 regular season games in Kelowna, the Rockets are 4-0-2-0 against the Tips. In the last 12 regular season meetings, the Rockets have lost in regulation time only twice. The Rockets enter tonight’s game riding a three game losing streak at home and three straight losses overall. The team is coming off a 5-1 loss to the visiting Swift Current Broncos Saturday night. Tomas Soustal scored the lone goal in the teams 7th loss in 10 games. This is the start of a stretch of games where the Rockets play a U.S based team in five of their next six games. The Rockets welcome Tri City Friday before visiting the Seattle Thunderbirds Saturday night. The team travels for two games to Portland, Oregon on October 29th and 30th.
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: Forward Riley Stadel played in his 250th career game Friday vs. the Blades…Nick Merkley has played 187 WHL regular season games….Jake Kryski is 6 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.
Broadcasters Bits: The Rockets have failed to score a power play goal in four games (0/14)…The Rockets have surrendered 6 power play goals against in four games (6/19)….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 Rockets …Kole Lind turned 18 on Sunday…The Rockets were 6-4-0-0 after 10 games last season…Sixteen 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 2014…Nick 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.
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