Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play their final game of 2016 when they welcome the Victoria Royals to Prospera Place. This is the 4th meeting of the season between these two teams. The Rockets are 2-1-0-0, having beaten their BC Division rivals by scores of 5-1 and 6-4. In the last meeting, November 22nd, the Royals were a 6-2 winner. The Rockets visit the Royals for back-to-back games on January 11th and 13th. How closely are these two teams matched? In the last five seasons, the Rockets are 13-12-1-1 against Dave Lowry’s boys. The Rockets are coming off a 5-1 loss Wednesday night in Kamloops. Dylan Ferguson stole the game for the Blazers, making 46 saves. Nolan Foote scored the lone goal in the teams’ 13th setback of the season. Brodan Salmond took the loss in goal. Overall, the Rockets have won 4 of its last 5 games and have points in 5 of its last 6 games (4-1-1-0).
That’s a fact Jack: At this point last season, Michael Herringer had appeared in just 14 games. This season he has played in 28 games…Fifteen different players have scored game winning goals for the Rockets this season….The team has scored 130 goals this season after 38 games. Last season, at this same point, the Rockets found the back of the net 139 times…The team has allowed 11 more goals at this point of the season than at the 38 game mark in 2015-2016….The Rockets have two out-right regulation losses in their last 10 road games. The team is 6-2-2-0 over that stretch…Four of the next 7 games will be played on the road. With back-to-back road games in Victoria (Jan 11th/13th), the team visits the Everett Silvertips for the first time this season on January 16th…The Rockets have allowed 10 goals against in their last 5 games…These two teams (Rockets/Royals) are a combined 32-0-1-0 when leading after 40 minutes…The Rockets are 12-3-2-0 in their last 17 games and have points in 12 of their last 14 (10-2-2-0).
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.
Broadcasters Bits: Nick Merkley had two assists Tuesday to give him 150 for his WHL…15 year-old rookie defenceman Kaedan Korczak made his WHL debut Tuesday night vs. the Blazers. Korczak is the Rockets 1st round bantam pick from May…Calvin Thurkauf is the captain for team Switzerland at the World Junior’s…Rookie Erik Gardiner has 1+5=6 in six games with the Rockets since making his debut with the team in Medicine Hat before the Christmas break…Kole Lind had his 13 game point streak snapped December 18th against the Oil Kings. It is the longest point streak by a Rockets player this season …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 8-2-2-0 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 6-8-0-0 against BC based teams this season…The Rockets are 23-13-2-0 after 38 games. Last season the team was 27-9-2-0 after 38 games….Michael Herringer has started in 16 of the last 22 games and 22 of the last 29…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 17 of the last 27 games while being tied three times over that period…The Rockets are the most penalized team in the WHL and have a league high 25 fighting majors…Tomas Soustal (Czech Republic) and Calvin Thurkauf (Switzerland) are playing for their respective countries at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Montreal/Toronto.…Dillon Dube became the 15th player in Kelowna Rockets franchise history to make Canada’s world junior team…January Birthdays: Devante Stephens (Jan 2nd), Jordan Borstmayer (Jan 9th), Riley Stadel (Jan 16th), Michael Herringer (Jan 26th).
Who’s Hot? Lucas Johansen has a 4 game point streak (0+5=5)…Nolan Foote has goals in back-to-back games…Cal Foote has points in 7 of his last 11 games (1+12=13)….Jake Kryski has 6+5=11 in the last 8 games and 8+7=15 in his last 11 games..Kryski had 6+5=11 (1 shootout game winning goal) on this just completed road trip…Calvin Thurkauf has 8 goals in his last four 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 23 of his last 27 games (16+23=39)…Lind has goals in 11 of his last 16 games.…Nick Merkley has points in 17 of his last 24 games (9+16=25).
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150