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Tonight’s Preview: Welcome to the second last weekend of the regular season. Tonight the Kelowna Rockets play game three of a six game home stand against the visiting Vancouver Giants. This is the 6th of 8 meetings between these two teams. These two teams close out the season with a home and home series next weekend. The Rockets are 4-1-0-0, having beaten the G-Men in back-to-back games in February by scores of 6-0 and 5-0. Overall, the Rockets have won 22 straight home games against them. The Rockets are coming off a 4-3 win over the visiting Victoria Royals Tuesday night. Nolan Foote, Leif Mattson, Calvin Thurkauf and Carsen Twarynski scored in the teams’ 41st win of the season. The team has 14 wins in the last 17 games (14-2-1-0) while earning a point in 12 of their last 13 games (11-1-1-0). Following tonight’s game, the Rockets host Victoria tomorrow night. Overall, the Rockets have won 5 straight and have scored 61 goals in their last 13 games.
The Matchup: Kole Lind and Calvin Thurkauf each have 3+4=7 against the Giants this season. Cal Foote and Nick Merkley each have 2+4=6 in five games. Nolan Foote has a hat trick against the G-Men. Brodan Salmond has started in 4 of the 5 games, posting a record of 3-1-0-0 with a goals against average of 2.01 with back-to-back shutouts. In the last 29 meetings, the Rockets are 25-4-0-0.
Milestones: Reid Gardiner played in his 285th career game Tuesday night…Devante Stephens plays in his 200th game tomorrow night…Gordie Ballhorn plays in his 100th game tomorrow night…Lucas Johansen is three games shy of 200 for his career. Johansen also has 95 career points, 5 shy of 100.
Streak’n: Reid Gardiner enters tonight’s game riding a 13 game point streak. Gardiner has 8+11=19 over that stretch. The 21 year-old also has goals in 5 of his last 7 games. Rodney Southam has points in 7 of his last 10 games with 6+7=13 over that stretch. Dillon Dube has points in 8 of his last 9 games (7+10=17). Dube also has goals in 6 of his last 8 games.
That’s a fact Jack: The Rockets have not allowed a power play goal against in 10 of their last 13 games and have successfully killed off 42 of their last 50 penalties….The Rockets have scored 258 goals this season, 18 more than at the same time a year ago….The Rockets have allowed 196 goals against, 4 fewer than at the same time last year….Michael Herringer was named the WHL Goalie of the Week March 6th by posting a record of 3-0-0-0 with a goals against average of 1.10….Lucas Johansen signed an entry level deal with the Washington Capitals last Thursday. Johansen was a 1st round pick of the Caps this summer…The Rockets have 87 points this season, with 10 available points over the final 5 regular season games. The most points the team can earn this season is 97, which puts them three shy of the 100 point barrier the team has reached in each of the last four seasons…The Rockets have played 35 road games this season, with one more stop in Vancouver…The Rockets have now won 20 or more road games in five consecutive seasons. The last time they failed to hit 20 wins was in 2011-2012 when they won 15 games away from Prospera Place…The Rockets have lost their last 4 overtime games …The 56 shots the Rockets put up against the Vancouver Giants February 10th were a season high….The 15 shots the team surrendered February 22nd against the Edmonton Oil Kings was a season low…The Rockets have generated 30 or more shots in 25 of their last 28 games…The Rockets have surrendered 5 or more goals 13 times this season. The teams’ record, not surprisingly, is 1-11-2-0.
Broadcasters Bits: The Rockets were 15 points out of first place in the BC Division at one point. Now they are just two points off the pace with a game in hand on Prince George…Four of the Rockets final 5 games are against teams in the BC Division….The Rockets are 60-1-4-0 when leading after 40 minutes in the last two seasons….The Kelowna Rockets lost 10 of their first 21 regular season games. Since then, the team has 11 losses in the last 46 games… In the Rockets last 12 losses (regulation or overtime loss) the opposition has opened the scoring…The Rockets are 16-6-2-0 since the trade deadline The Rockets compiled a record of 10-2-1-0 in 13 games in 26 days in February…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 17-12-0-0 against BC based teams this season …The Rockets are 11-3-3-0 against U.S Division teams this season….The Rockets have allowed fewer shots on goal than at the same time last year. The team has surrendered 222 fewer after 67 regular season games.
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150