|Erik Gardiner - Shoot the Breeze Photo|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets close out the month of February playing four games in 6 nights. The Rockets welcome the Edmonton Oil Kings to wrap up a four game home stand. The Rockets are 2-0-1-0 in three games after a 6-3 win over Seattle, a 5-4 overtime loss to Spokane and a 5-2 win over the Prince George Cougars. This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Rockets and Oil Kings. These two teams met in the final game before the Christmas break with Jake Kryski, now of the Calgary Hitmen, scoring the game winning goal. The Rockets were a 5-2 winner against the Cougars Saturday night, helping the team to its 7th win in the last 9 games (7-1-1-0) while the team earned a point in 5 straight (4-0-1-0). Following tonight’s game, the Rockets play three games in three nights in Kamloops (Feb 24th), Seattle (Feb 25th) and Spokane (Feb 26th). The Rockets have scored 26 goals in their last 5 games (5.2 per game).
What just happened? Devante Stephens had 1+2=3 in the Rockets 5-2 win over Prince George Saturday night. Nick Merkley, the games 1st star, had a goal and an assist. Tomas Soustal also had 1+1 in the victory. The Rockets were 1 for 4 on the power play and 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. The Rockets fired 43 shots at the Cougars net. Michael Herringer made 25 saves in the victory.
Better with age: Kole Lind has 26+45=71 so far this season. That is 30 points more than the 41 points he put up this season….Devante Stephens has 10+16=26 games this season. That is 15 more points than a disappointing sophomore campaign. Stephens is a career +50. Only Nick Merkley has a better career +/- with a +78 rating.
That’s a fact Jack: Riley Stadel will not play tonight against his old team. The 21 year-old is sidelined with a broken wrist and did not make the trip. Stadel was traded to the Oil Kings, by the Rockets, for a 5th round bantam pick back on January 6th. The trade was made to make way for Reid Gardiner…Calvin Thurkauf has 99 career points…The Rockets have lost their last 4 overtime games…Brodan Salmond was named the WHL and CHL Goaltender of the Week ending February 12th after back-to-back shutouts against the Vancouver Giants.…Nolan Foote became the youngest player in franchise history to score three goals in a game. Foote accomplished the feat February 10th against the Vancouver Giants, scoring those three goals at the tender age of 16 years, 2 months and 12 days. The old mark was set by Shane McColgan who scored a hat trick at 16 years, 11 months and 9 days… The 56 shots the Rockets put up against the Giants February 10th were a season high….The Rockets have lost the same number of games (20) as they did all of last season…Reid Gardiner has 18 points (7+11=18) in 15 games as a member of the Kelowna Rockets.…The Rockets have generated 30 or more shots in 19 of their last 20 games…The Rockets have surrendered 5 or more goals 12 times this season. The teams’ record, not surprisingly, is 0-10-2-0.
Hot as a pistol: Calvin Thurkauf has points in 15 of his last 17 games. Thurkauf has 13+10=23 over that stretch. Kole Lind has points in 10 of his last 13 with 6+13=19 over that period. Nick Merkley has points in 9 of his last 11 games with 8+12=20 over that span. Cal Foote has points in 8 of his last 12 games with 1+8=9. Reid Gardiner has points in 9 of his last 10 games with 5+8=13 over that stretch.
Broadcasters Bits: Kole Lind was the WHL Player of the Week ending February 9th. Lind had 3+5=8 in three games to earn the honour…In the Rockets last 12 losses (regulation or overtime loss) the opposition has opened the scoring…The Rockets are 10-5-2-0 since the trade deadline….The Rockets have scored 11 shorthanded goals this season, the same number as all of last season…..GM Bruce Hamilton has traded/released six players from the teams opening day roster…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 14-12-0-0 against BC based teams this season…Michael Herringer has started in 38 of the last 49 games…The Rockets are 9-2-3-0 against U.S Division teams this season.
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150