Friday, October 13, 2017

Rockets/Hitmen game notes

Brodan Salmond - 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 Recap:
October 7/17: Dillon Dube scored the game winner in overtime lifting the Rockets to a 4-3 win in Prince George. Dube ended the night with a goal and three assists. Kole Lind, Carsen Twarynski and Konrad Belcourt, with his first career WHL goal scored in the teams 4th win of the season. James Porter made 42 saves. The Rockets were 1 for 5 on the power play.
October 6/17: Kole Lind scored in overtime lifting the Kelowna Rockets to a 7-6 win over the Prince George Cougars. Lind took a feed from Dillon Dube on a two-on-one to score his team leading 6th goal of the season. Lind set the stage for overtime by scoring the tying goal with 3:33 remaining in regulation time. Erik Gardiner had 2+1=3 in the win while Nolan Foote, Dillon Dube and rookie Colum McGauley, with his first career WHL goal, also scored in the one goal victory.

Porter enters record books: Rookie goaltender James Porter joined an elusive group by becoming only the third American born goaltender in Kelowna Rockets franchises history to start a game. Porter, from Bonners Ferry, Idaho joined Adam Brown (Yorba Linda, California) and Mark Guggenberger (Richfield, Minnesota) when he started a game in Prince George October 7/17. Porter became the youngest American born goaltender to win a game in a Rockets uniform at 17 years, 5 months and 7 days, beating Adam Brown, who won his first WHL game at 17 years, 11 months and 29 days. Brown also beat Prince George for his first career victory October 11, 2008 in a 1-0 win. 

Broadcasters Notebook: Kole Lind turns 19 on October 16th….Erik Gardiner’s two goals against the Prince George Cougars last Friday was his first multiple goal game of his career…Kole Lind’s overtime winner last Friday was his 50th goal of his WHL career…Lind is riding a 6 game point streak…The Rockets have opened the scoring in every game this season…. The Rockets have held the lead in 5 of the 6 games after one period….. The team has also out-shot the opponent in 4 of the 6 games this season……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.

Milestones: Dillon Dube is 9 assists shy of 100 in his career…Kole Lind is 8 assists shy of 100 for his career… Lind is  8 games shy of 200 for his career…Cal Foote is 2 games shy of 150 for his career…James Hilsendager has played a team high 186 WHL regular season games.

Roster Stats:
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) - 7   Topping, Mattson, Gardiner, Bruggen-Cate, Cowell, Porter, Skvrne
17’s (2000) - 9   Nolan Foote, Belcourt, Zabransky, Kindree, Brennan, McGauley, Kushniryk, Pow, Hair
16’s (2001) - 1   Korczak

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

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