|Shoot the Breeze Photography|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game five of a seven game road trip tonight with a stop in
Red Deer for a game against the Rebels. These two teams met back on October 8th with the Rebels earning a 5-0 win. The trip started last Friday in Tri City with a 3-2 overtime win. The Rockets bounced the Kootenay Ice Saturday night (7-3) before losing a heartbreaker to the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Sunday (6-5). The team then concluded five games in seven nights with an 8-7 overtime loss Tuesday in Medicine Hat. While the Rockets are 4-0-0-0 in the last five seasons against the Rebels in Kelowna, they are just 2-2-0-0 over that period at the Enmax Centrium.
Rockets Review: Tuesday night, Jake Kryski (2+2=4) and Kole Lind (1+3=4) each had four point outings in an 8-7 overtime loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers. In the 15 goal game, the Tigers opened a 4-1 second period lead before the Rockets rallied to tie the score at four heading into the third period. The Tigers would again score back-to-back goals to take a 6-4 lead before the Rockets would again tie it. Leif Mattson, Cal Foote, Kyle Topping and Braydyn Chizen also scored, with the power play finding the back of the net on 2 of 5 chances. Michael Herringer started the game and was pulled after surrendering 6 goals on 21 shots. Brodan Salmond came in relief and allowed two goals on 14 shots.
Road Rash: The road trip the team is currently on features 7 games in 10 nights with stops in Tri City (3-2 OTW), Kootenay (7-3 W), Lethbridge (6-5 L), Medicine Hat (8-7 OTL), Red Deer (Tonight), Calgary (Saturday Dec 17) and Edmonton (Sunday Dec 18th). Overall, the Rockets are 8-2-2-0 in their last 12 games and have points in 7 of their last 8 (6-1-2-0).
Top Prospects: Defenceman Cal Foote and forward Kole Lind have been named to the roster for the CHL Top Prospects game. Foote is one of only two players on the Rockets roster to play in every game this season. The other is Rodney Southam. Lind leads the team in scoring. The Top Prospects game will be played in Quebec City. 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. The NHL draft is in Chicago.
Broadcasters Bits: Nick Merkley returns the lineup tonight after being released from Hockey Canada’s main camp on Tuesday….Erik Gardner made his Kelowna Rockets debut Tuesday night vs. the Medicine Hat Tigers. Gardner, acquired from Regina, laced up the skates for the first time in the WHL after playing the majority of this season in the SJHL with the Humboldt Broncos…Sixteen year-old rookie Liam Kindree also played Tuesday night with the team having 6 regulars out of the lineup. Kindree was playing his second WHL game after suiting up with the team in Vancouver/Langley earlier this season. Kindree is leading the BC Major Midget League in scoring….Calvin Thurkauf has 8 goals in his last four games and Monday was named the WHL Player of the Week for his antics…The Rockets are 4-1-2-0 in December...The Rockets were 6-4-0-0 in 10 games in November after going 8-4-0-0 in 12 games in October…The Rockets are the only team in the WHL that has failed to surrender a shorthanded goal against this season…The Rockets are 5-7-0-0 against BC based teams this season…The Rockets are 19-12-2-0 after 33 games. Last season the team was 25-7-1-0 after 33 games….Michael Herringer has started in 14 of the last 17 games and 20 of the last 24…The Rockets are 8-0-1-0 against U.S Division teams this season…The Rockets have carried the lead into the third period in 14 of the last 23 games while being tied twice over that period…The Rockets are the most penalized team in the WHL…Tomas Soustal (Czech Republic) and Calvin Thurkauf (Switzerland) are playing for their respective countries at the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships in Montreal/Toronto.…Dillon Dube is attend Hockey Canada’s main camp vying for one of 22 spots on this year’s roster….The only December birthday is Cal Foote. Foote turned 18 on Tuesday.
Who’s Hot? Jake Kryski has 4+4=8 in last three games and 6+6=12 in his last 6 games…Calvin Thurkauf has 8 goals in his last four games…James Hilsandager has a goal and three assists in his last five games…Tomas Soustal has points in 12 of his last 15 games. The 19 year-old has goals in 10 of his last 18 games and has 10+15=25 over that period… Kole Lind has points in 20 of his last 22 games (14+20=34)…Lind has goals in 9 of his last 11 games and is riding an 11 game point streak. Lind has 9+10=19 over that stretch…Nick Merkley has points in 14 of his last 19 games (8+13=21).
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150