|Jonathon Howe Photo|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets and Victoria Royals meet for the third time this season. The Rockets are 2-0-0-0 in the seasonal series after a 6-4 win on home ice (October 26th) and a 5-1 victory Sunday in Victoria. Rodney Southam scored twice in the 13th win of the season. Kole Lind, Nolan Foote and Leif Mattson, with his first WHL goal, scored in the 5-1 victory. Michael Herringer made 25 saves while the power play scored once on 4 chances. Overall, the team has 10 wins in their last 13 games. The Rockets next home game is next Saturday against the visiting Regina Pats.
Digging Deeper: Kole Lind has 2+3=5 in two games against the Royals this season…Rodney Southam has back-to-back two goal games against Victoria….Michael Herringer is 2-0-0-0 against the Royals with a goals against average of 2.50 and a save percentage of .909.
Broadcasters Bits: After tonight’s game, the Rockets will play 12 straight games against teams outside of the BC Division. The next time they face a BC Divisional cousin is December 27th when they host the Kamloops Blazers…These two teams are a combined 19-0-0-0 when leading after two periods….How evenly matched are these two teams? The Rockets have a record of 13-11-1-1 against the Royals in the last five seasons…Three of the Rockets next four games are on the road ….The Rockets have scored eight power play goals in their last four games. Of the 19 goals they have scored over that stretch, 8 of them 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 5-6-0-0 against BC based teams this season…The Rockets are 13-10-0-0 after 23 games. Last season the team was 17-5-1-0 after 23 games ….Rookie forward Leif Mattson returned to the lineup Friday after serving a four game suspension for a checking from behind penalty November 1st against Kamloops….Michael Herringer has started in six of the last seven games and 12 of the last 14…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 9 of the last 13 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 turned 17 on Friday while Nolan Foote turns 16 on November 29th. Head Coach Jason Smith turned 43 on November 2nd…The Rockets are the most penalized team in the WHL averaging 17.8 pims per game.
NHL Central Scouting: NHL Central Scouting has released its November ‘Players to Watch’ list. Defenceman Cal Foote is an ‘A’ prospect for next June’s draft. Kole Lind is a ‘B’ prospect while defenceman Jonathan Smart is a ‘C’ prospect. The NHL draft this year is in Chicago.
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 7 of his last 9 games and has 8+8=16 over that period…Calvin Thurkauf has points in 8 of his last 10 games (5+10=15)…Kole Lind has points in 11 of his last 13 games (7+11=18)…Nick Merkley has goals in 5 of his last 9 games…16 year-old Nolan Foote has points in five of his last 7 games. Foote has 3+2=5 over that period…Merkley has points in 11 of his last 13 games (6+9=15)…Merkley played in his 200th career game Sunday night in Victoria.
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