|Shoot the Breeze Photography|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets are in their 27th year of existence since coming into the Western Hockey League as an expansion franchise in 1991. After four seasons in Tacoma, the team relocated to Kelowna in 1995-96, where the team has spent the last 22 years in the Okanagan. The team has four WHL championships (2003, 2005, 2009, 2015) and have missed the playoffs only once in their existence. The hockey club has made four straight appearances in the Western Conference final and has registered 40 or more wins in five consecutive seasons.
Rockets/Americans – Round 3: This is the third meeting between these two teams in the last 15 days. The Rockets are 1-1-0-0, having lost 2-1 in Tri City before earning a 4-3 overtime win October 27th. James Porter has started both games in goal for the Rockets while Beck Warm and Patrick Dea have shared the duties for the Americans. The Rockets are 11 and 3 in the last 14 regular season meetings between the two teams but are just 4-3-0-0 in their last 7 regular season appearances at Toyota Centre.
Rockets face Russians: Three members of the Kelowna Rockets have been named to Team WHL for the CIBC Canada-Russia series. Dillon Dube, Kole Lind and Cal Foote will play in two games against the touring Russian team on November 6th in Moose Jaw and again November 7th in Swift Current. Dube is the WHL captain. Sixteen year-old defenceman Kaedan Korczak and Rockets goalie prospect Roman Basran are competing at Hockey Canada’s World Under 17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek/Fort St. John November 5-11th. Rockets assistant coach Travis Crickard will be a member of the coaching staff of one of three Canadian teams participating.
Broadcasters Notebook: Carsen Twarynski has 6 goals in his last three games…Head Coach Jason Smith turns 44 next Thursday…Kole Lind leads the team with 46 shots on net….James Porter has started in 7 of the last 9 games…Kyle Topping has goals in five of his last 8 games … The Rockets boast one first round NHL draft pick and two second rounders. Cal Foote was chosen 14th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in June while Kole Lind (2nd round (33rd) Canucks - 2017) and Dillon Dube (2nd round (56th) Flames - 2016) were picked in the second round….Nolan Foote, last season’s rookie of the year, is not eligible to be drafted until June 2019…The Rockets are 3 and 1 in overtime with game winners coming from Kole Lind, Dillon Dube and Carsen Twarynski. The only loss in OT came against the Portland Winterhawks…The Rockets are 4-1-1-0 in the second of back-to-back games.
Who’s Hot? Leif Mattson has goals in three straight games. Mattson has scored those three goals on just five shots…Carsen Twarynski has goals in three straight games and has 6 goals over that stretch…Kyle Topping is riding a four game point streak (2+4=6) and has points in 7 of his last 8 games…Cal Foote has two goals in three games.
Milestones: Dillon Dube is 6 assists shy of 100 in his career…Kole Lind hit the 100 assist mark Saturday against Prince George…Carsen Twarynski played in his 200th career game Saturday against the Cougars…James Hilsendager is 6 games shy of 200 for his career.
Player total: 25
Year by Year Breakdown:
20’s (1997) – 3 Ballhorn, Twarynski, Hilsendager
19’s (1998) - 4 Salmond, Lind, Dube, Cal Foote, Chizen
18’s (1999) - 6 Topping, Mattson, Gardiner, Bruggen-Cate, Cowell, Skvrne
17’s (2000) - 10 Porter, Nolan Foote, Belcourt, Zabransky, Kindree, Brennan, McGauley, Kushniryk, Pow, Hair
16’s (2001) - 2 Korczak, Basran
NHL Drafted Players: Cal Foote (Tampa Bay 2017), Kole Lind (Vancouver 2017), Dillon Dube (Calgary 2016), Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia 2016), Brayden Chizen (Minnesota 2016).
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150