Welcome back to Prospera Place for tonight’s tilt between two BC Division rivals separated by three points for second place. This is the 7th meeting of the season, with the Rockets sporting a record of 2-4-0-0 in the first six games. These two teams met last night at the Sandman Centre with the Blazers earning a 3-1 win. Dillon Dube scored the lone goal in the setback. The Rockets were 1 for 2 on the power play while going 6 for 6 on the penalty kill. The Blazers out-shot the Rockets 36-31 in the game.
Overall, the Blazers have out-scored the Rockets 25-13 in the first six games. The Blazers have opened the scoring in 5 of the 6 games. In the last 32 regular season meetings, the Rockets are 24-7-1-0 against their BC Division rivals. Overall, the Rockets have won 4 of its last 8 games (4-3-1-0) and have points in 6 of its last 9 games (4-3-2-0). Next Wednesday and Friday the Rockets visit the Victoria Royals before traveling to Everett to face the Silvertips in a Monday (Martin Luther King Day) afternoon affair on January 16th.
Gardiner X2: The Kelowna Rockets pulled off a significant deal Friday by acquiring 20 year-old forward Reid Gardiner from the Prince Albert Raiders. Gardiner is the older brother of rookie forward Erik Gardiner. Reid Gardiner was playing this season in the American Hockey League for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. Last season, Gardiner scored 43 goals and collected 92 assists and was named a WHL All-Star. To make room for Gardiner, the team sent 20 year-old Riley Stadel to the Edmonton Oil Kings for a 5th round bantam pick.
Trade Winds Blow: The Kelowna Rockets made one other deal in advance of the WHL trade deadline on Tuesday. The team shipped 18 year-old Jordan Borstmayer to the Vancouver Giants for a 5th round bantam pick.
That’s a Fact Jack: Reid Gardiner won a Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League title with ex-Kelowna Rockets forward Rourke Chartier when they both played with the Saskatoon Contacts in 2011-2012…Gardiner was acquired on the exact same day, two years removed, from the Rockets obtaining Leon Draisaitl’s rights from the PA Raiders…Reid and Erik Gardiner are the 6th set of Rockets brothers to play with one another. They join Kiel and Gavin McLeod, Lucas and Evan Bloodoff, Josh and Jake Morrissey, Joe and Danny Gatenby and Cal and Nolan Foote...Tomas Soustal and Calvin Thurkauf both missed 8 games with the Kelowna Rockets while attending the World Junior’s. The Rockets were 4-2-2-0 without two of their top forwards…Dillon Dube is missed 10 games after playing for Team Canada at the WJHC…The Rockets are 12-5-3-0 in their last 20 games and have points in 13 of their last 17 (10-4-3-0)….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: Jake Kryski is 6 points shy of 100 for his career…James Hilsendager played in career game #150 last night in Kamloops. Kole Lind had his 13 game point streak snapped December 18th against the Edmonton Oil Kings. It is the longest point streak by a Rockets player this season …Calvin Thurkauf was named the WHL Player of the Week December 7th to 11th …The Rockets were 8-3-2-0 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 6-9-0-0 against BC based teams this season…Michael Herringer has started in 25 of the last 32 games…The Rockets are 8-0-2-0 against U.S Division teams this season…January Birthdays: Devante Stephens turned 19 on Monday. Reid Gardiner turns 21 on January 19th while Michael Herringer (Jan 26th) also has a birthday in January.
Who’s Hot? Lucas Johansen has a 7 game point streak (0+9=9)…Nolan Foote has goals in three of his last four games Jake Kryski has 6+5=11 in the last 11 games and 8+7=15 in his last 14 games…Calvin Thurkauf has 8 goals in his last 5 games…Tomas Soustal has points in 12 of his last 16 games. The 19 year-old has goals in 10 of his last 19 games and has 10+15=25 over that period… Kole Lind has points in 24 of his last 30 games (16+24=40)…Lind has goals in 11 of his last 19 games.…Nick Merkley has points in 17 of his last 27 games (9+16=25).
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150