Friday, November 4, 2016

Rockets game notes vs. Giants

Shoot the Breeze Photography
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets take a three game road winning streak into tonight’s game with the Vancouver Giants. The Rockets have previously won road games over Seattle and Portland (twice). The Rockets last road loss was a 5-0 setback in Red Deer back on October 8th.  This is the first of eight meetings between these two teams this season. The Giants return the favour November 18th. In the last five seasons, the Rockets are 21-3-0-0 against the G-Men including 9-3-0-0 in their last 12 visits to the Lower Mainland. The Rockets are coming off a 5-1 home ice loss to the Kamloops Blazers Tuesday night. Nick Merkley scored the lone goal in the team’s first loss in seven games. Following this game, the team is at home tomorrow night to the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers to open a four game home stand.

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. The Rockets also enjoy a visit from Prince Albert on November 12th and Regina on November 26th, where they face Eastern Division teams they have failed to beat so far this season after losses to visiting Swift Current and Saskatoon.

Broadcasters Bits: Rookie forward Leif Mattson is serving game one of a four game suspension for a checking from behind penalty Tuesday against KamloopsFour of the Rockets next five games are on home ice. The only road game over that stretch is tonight in Vancouver/Langley….Devante Stephens and Jake Kryski each played in their 150th career games Sunday in Portland….The Rockets are 5-0-0-0 against U.S Division teams this season...Devante Stephens three goals Saturday in Portland were the first by a Rockets d-man since Riley Stadel scored three goals vs. Lethbridge in 2013..Nick Merkley has been named an associate captain for Team WHL, which will face the Russian Selects in the CHL Canada Russia Series….The Rockets have opened the scoring in three of the last six games….The Rockets have carried the lead into the third period in five of the last seven games….Sixteen year-old Nolan Foote won’t play in tonight’s game. Foote is one of 66 players participating in the 2016 Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario October 27th to November 5th. Assistant Travis Crickard is a video coach for Team Canada at the event …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….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 Monday November in Prince George and Tuesday in Edmonton.   

Who’s Hot?: Tomas Soustal has goals in three of his last four games and has 4+2=6 over that period…Calvin Thurkauf has a four game point streak (2+4=6)…Kole Lind has points in six of his last seven games (2+8=10)…Nick Merkley has goals in three straight games…16 year-old Nolan Foote has points in three straight games (2+1=3)..The team has scored shorthanded goals in two of its last three games……Merkley has points in 6 of his last 7 games (3+4=7).

Roster Stats:
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

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