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Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets make their final regular season visit to a U.S Division opponent this season. The Rockets and Silvertips are meeting for the third of four times this season with the seasonal series tied at one win apiece. Both games have been decided by a single goal. The Rockets were a 4-3 winner, in overtime, back on October 19th before the Tips were a 5-4 winner on January 16th. These two teams close out the seasonal series March 15tjh at Prospera Place. The Rockets are coming off a 5-1 win Wednesday night over the Prince George Cougars. Calvin Thurkauf scored twice and added an assist in the win. Dillon Dube, Kyle Topping and Nick Merkley also scored in the teams’ 38th win of the season. The team has 11 wins in the last 14 games (11-2-1-0) while earning a point in 9 of their last 10 games (8-1-1-0). Following tonight’s game, the Rockets host Tri City tomorrow night in the first of 6 straight games on home ice. The Rockets have scored 51 goals in their last 10 games.
Streak’n: Reid Gardiner enters tonight’s game riding a 10 game point streak. Gardiner has 5+10=15 over that stretch. The 21 year-old also has goals in three of his last four games. Gardiner is also 3 points shy of 250 for his WHL career. Rodney Southam is riding a 7 game point streak (6+7=13) while Dillon Dube has a 6 game point streak (5+8=13). Dube also has a goal in five straight games. Rookie Kyle Topping has goals in three straight games.
That’s a fact Jack: Lucas Johansen signed an entry level deal with the Washington Capitals on Thursday. Johansen was a 1st round pick of the Caps this summer…The Rockets have 81 points this season, with 16 available points over the final 8 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 34 road games this season, with two more stops in Everett and 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… Kole Lind has the 3rd most points by a 17 year-old draft eligible player in Kelowna Rockets franchise history. Lind has 79 points, which is tied with Brett McLean for second all-time. Lind is 11 points shy of matching the 90 points that franchise leader Nick Merkley put up in his 17 year-old season in 2014-2015…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 23 of their last 25 games…The Rockets have surrendered 5 or more goals 13 times this season. The teams’ record, not surprisingly, is 1-11-2-0.
Fantastic in February: The Rockets compiled a record of 10-2-1-0 in 13 games in 26 days in February. Of those 13 games, the team managed to score 5 or more goals 8 times. Overall, the team scored 74 goals or 5.7 goals per game. Nick Merkley (10+11=21) and Dillon Dube (6+15=21) were the top scorers during the month. Kole Lind had 20 points while Reid Gardiner had 19. The big surprise was Devante Stephens and Rodney Southam. Stephens had (3+11=14) 14 points while Southam (6+7=13) earned 13 points in those 13 games.
Broadcasters Bits: Former Kelowna Rockets forward Mitchell Callahan has been called up by the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings….Rockets alumni Jordon Cooke of the U of S Huskies was named Canada West Goalie of the Year. Former Rockets forward Tyson Baillie of the U of A Golden Bear was named Canada West Rookie of the Year...The Kelowna Rockets lost 10 of their first 21 regular season games. Since then, the team has 11 losses in the last 43 games… In the Rockets last 12 losses (regulation or overtime loss) the opposition has opened the scoring…The Rockets are 13-6-2-0 since the trade deadline 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 16-12-0-0 against BC based teams this season …The Rockets are 9-3-3-0 against U.S Division teams this season….Calvin Thurkauf has 61 points this season, the 5th most from a European born player in one season wearing Kelowna Rockets colours. The franchise leader is Tomas Slovak (86 in 2002-2003), followed by Vaclav Varada (85 in 1995-96). The third most points in one season put up by a European born player in one season is Jan Fadrny (77 in 2000-2001). Tomas Oravec (65 in 2000-2001) rounds out the top four.
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150