Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game three of a four game home stand tonight against the visiting Prince George Cougars. This is already the fourth meeting of the season between the two teams. The Rockets are 0-3-0-0 in the seasonal series, having been out-scored 9-2 in the first three games. These two teams last meet on October 1st, with the Cougars earning a 3-0 win. Following tonight’s tilt, these two teams won’t see each other until back-to-back games in Prince George on February 3rd and 4th. The Rockets are coming off a convincing 7-1 win Saturday night over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. Jake Kryski scored twice while Tomas Soustal, Calvin Thurkauf, Dillon Dube, Cal Foote and Kole Lind each had three point games. The Rockets power play scored four times in five opportunities. Overall, the team has 8 wins in their last 10 games. Following this game, the Rockets welcome Vancouver (Friday November 18th) before two road games in Victoria November 20th and 22nd.
Broadcasters Bits: The Rockets are 3-5-0-0 against BC based teams this season…The Rockets scored four power play goals against the Raiders Saturday night. When was the last time the Rockets scored four power play goals in a game? Last season, in Victoria, the team scored 4 times on 6 power play chances in a 6-4 loss to the Royals….The team scored five power play goals against the Cougars, September 27/2014, in an 8-2 win….Dillon Dube returned to the lineup Saturday night after missing the first 19 games of the regular season with a lower body injury suffered in Calgary Flames training camp. Dube had three assists playing on a line with Kole Lind and Nolan Foote…The Rockets are 11-9-0-0 after 20 games. Last season the team was 14-5-1-0 after 20 games….Nolan Foote returned to the lineup Saturday after winning a silver medal at the Under 17 World Challenge in Sault St. Marie, Ontario. Assistant Coach Travis Crickard was also a silver medal winner as Team Canada’s video coach….Rookie forward Leif Mattson is serving the fourth and final game of a four game suspension for a checking from behind penalty last Tuesday against Kamloops…Three of the Rockets next five games are on home ice….The Rockets are 5-0-0-0 against U.S Division teams this season…The Rockets have carried the lead into the third period in 7 of the last 10 games …Veteran 20 year-old Michael Herringer was named the WHL Goaltender of the Week from October 17th to October 23rd. Herringer went 3-0-0-0, posting a goals against average of 1.99…November birthdays to remember. Lucas Johansen turns 19 on November 16th. Kyle Topping turns 17 on November 18th while Nolan Foote turns 16 on November 29th. Head Coach Jason Smith turned 43 on November 2nd.
Injury Report: Riley Stadel has missed six games with a upper body injury. Gordie Ballhorn has missed six games with a lower body injury. Both were hurt in a game against the Victoria Royals on October 26th.
Octoberfest: After starting the month of October with a 3-0 shutout loss in Prince George (October 1st) the team was able to win 8 of their next 11 to close out the month of October. In November, the Rockets play 10 games with six of them on home ice. Six of those 10 will be played against BC Division based teams including a visit to Victoria on November 20th and 22nd.
Who’s Hot?: Tomas Soustal has goals in 5 of his last 6 games and has 6+7=13 over that period…Calvin Thurkauf has points in 6 of his last 7 games (4+8=12)…Kole Lind has points in 9 of his last 10 games (5+11=16)…Nick Merkley has goals in 5 of his last 6 games…16 year-old Nolan Foote has points in four straight games (2+2=4)……Merkley has points in 8 of his last 10 games (6+5=11)…Merkley is three games shy of 200 for his career.
Player total: 24
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