|Tomas Soustal - Shoot the Breeze Photo|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets wrap up a four game home stand tonight against the visiting Vancouver Giants. This is the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The Rockets were a 6-4 winner back on November 4th. Tomas Soustal had a goal and two assists and was named the first star. Nick Merkley had two goals and one assist in the win. Michael Herringer made 30 saves in the victory. Following tonight’s game, these two teams won’t see each other until January 20th. In the final two months of the regular season, the Rockets and Giants will face one another 6 times. The Rockets are coming off a 4-2 loss Tuesday night to the visiting Prince George Cougars. Tomas Soustal and Calvin Thurkauf scored goals in the teams 10th loss of the season. Overall, the team has 8 wins in their last 11 games. Following this game, the Rockets play two road games in Victoria Sunday (November 20th) and Tuesday (November 22nd). The Rockets play three games in the next six nights before hosting the Regina Pats Saturday November 26th. In the big picture, the Rockets are riding a 20 game home ice winning streak against the G-Men. The last time the Giants won a game at Prospera Place was March 19, 2011 in a 4-3 victory. Andrej Stastny had 1+2=3 and scored the game winning goal while Adam Brown took the loss in goal.
Broadcasters Bits: Four of the Rockets next six games are on the road…During the Rockets 20 game home ice winning streak against the Giants, 14 of the games have seen the home team score 5 or more goals….The Rockets have scored six power play goals in their last two games. Of the 9 goals they have scored over that stretch, 6 have come with the extra man….The Rockets are the only team in the WHL that has failed to surrender a shorthanded goal against this season…The Rockets are 3-6-0-0 against BC based teams this season……The Rockets are 11-10-0-0 after 21 games. Last season the team was 15-5-1-0 after 21 games ….Rookie forward Leif Mattson returns to the lineup tonight after serving a four game suspension for a checking from behind penalty November 1st against Kamloops….Michael Herringer has started five straight games and 11 of the last 12…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 11 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 turned 19 on November 16th. Kyle Topping turns 17 today while Nolan Foote turns 16 on November 29th. Head Coach Jason Smith turned 43 on November 2nd.
Injury Report: Riley Stadel has missed 7 games with an upper body injury. Gordie Ballhorn has missed 7 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 6 of his last 7 games and has 7+7=14 over that period…Calvin Thurkauf has points in 7 of his last 8 games (5+8=13)…Kole Lind has points in 9 of his last 11 games (5+11=16)…Nick Merkley has goals in 5 of his last 7 games…16 year-old Nolan Foote has points in four of his last five games. Foote has 2+2=4 over that period……Merkley has points in 9 of his last 11 games (6+6=12)…Merkley is two 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