Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game two of a four game home stand tonight against the visiting Spokane Chiefs. This is the third of four meetings between these two teams. The Rockets are 0-0-2-0 in the seasonal series after back-to-back overtime losses by scores of 2-1 (December 2nd) and 3-2 (January 4th). The two teams meet one more time in Spokane on February 26th. The Rockets are 8-2-3-1 against the Chiefs in the last 14 regular season games. The Rockets are 4-1-1-1 in their last 7 home games against Spokane. The Rockets are coming off a 6-3 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds Monday afternoon (BC Family Day). Following tonight’s game, the Rockets host Prince George tomorrow and the Edmonton Oil Kings on Wednesday February 22nd. The Rockets close out February with three games in three nights in Kamloops (Feb 24th), Seattle (Feb 25th) and Spokane (Feb 26th). Overall, the team has won 3 straight and have 6 wins in their last 7 games. The only loss over that stretch was a 6-0 loss in Kamloops February 8th.
What just happened? Calvin Thurkauf scored twice Monday in a 6-3 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds. The Rockets rallied in this one. Trailing 3-2 after 40 minutes, the Rockets struck for four-third unanswered goals in their 33rd win of the season. The game changed when Thurkauf and Reid Gardiner scored back-to-back goals :24 seconds apart in the third period before Carsen Twarynski and Nick Merkley closed out the scoring. Michael Herringer made 31 saves in the win. .
That’s a Fact Jack: Brodan Salmond was named the WHL and CHL Goaltender of the Week ending February 12th after back-to-back shutouts against the Vancouver Giants. Salmond’s back-to-back shutouts are the first for a Rockets goalie since Jackson Whistle had two in a row in the 2015 WHL playoffs vs. Tri City. Adam Brown had back-to-back shutouts during the regular season against the Chlliwack Bruins in October of 2008…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 previous season high was 47 in a 5-1 loss in Kamloops on December 28th…The Rockets have lost the same number of games (20) as they did all of last season…Reid Gardiner has 16 points (7+9=16) in 13 games as a member of the Kelowna Rockets.…The Rockets have generated 30 or more shots in 17 of their last 18 games…The Rockets have been shorthanded the most times in the entire Canadian Hockey League. The team has been shorthanded 299 times…The Rockets have surrendered 5 or more goals 11 times this season. The teams’ record, not surprisingly, is 0-10-1-0…Tomas Soustal turned 20 on Wednesday…Soustal has missed 7 games with an injury. The Rockets are 6-1-0-0 without the Czech Republic resident.
Hot as a pistol: Calvin Thurkauf has points in 13 of his last 15 games. Thurkauf has 10+10=20 over that stretch. Kole Lind has points in 9 of his last 11 with 6+12=18 over that period. Nick Merkley has points in 7 of his last 9 games with 6+10=16 over that span. Cal Foote has points in 7 of his last 10 games with 1+7=8. Reid Gardiner has points in 7 of his last 8 games with 5+6=11 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 11 losses (regulation or overtime loss) the opposition has opened the scoring…The Rockets are 9-5-1-0 since the trade deadline….The Rockets have scored 10 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 13-12-0-0 against BC based teams this season…Michael Herringer has started in 36 of the last 47 games…The Rockets are 9-2-2-0 against U.S Division teams this season.