Friday, November 3, 2017

Rockets face the 'Big Dog'.

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/Royals Preview: This is the second of eight meetings between these two teams this season. The Rockets are 0-1-0-0 after a 8-3 home ice loss back October 4th. Regan Nagy had three goals in the win. The Rockets were 6-2-0-0 against the Royals last season and are 14-10-1-0 in the last 25 regular season appearances between the two teams.

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: This is somewhat of a homecoming for three members of the Kelowna Rockets. Kyle Topping is from Salt Spring Island while rookies Ted Brennan is from Victoria and Kyle Pow is from Nanaimo…Carsen Twarynski has 6 goals in his last four games…Head Coach Jason Smith turned 44 yesterday….James Porter has started in 8 of the last 10 games…Kyle Topping has goals in five of his last 9 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 2 in overtime with game winners coming from Kole Lind, Dillon Dube and Carsen Twarynski. The only loss in OT came against the Tri City Americans and Portland Winterhawks…The Rockets are 4-1-1-0 in the second of back-to-back games….November birthdays include Kyle Topping (Nov 18th), Carsen Twarynski (Nov 24th) and Nolan Foote (Nov 29th)…The Rockets make a return visit to Victoria February 9th and 10th.

Who’s Hot? Leif Mattson has goals in three of his last four games.…Carsen Twarynski has goals in three of his last four games and has 6 goals over that stretch…Kyle Topping has points in four of his last five games (2+4=6) and has points in 7 of his last 9 games…Cal Foote has two goals in four games.

Milestones: Dillon Dube is 5 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 last Saturday against the Cougars…James Hilsendager is 5 games shy of 200 for his career.

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) - 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

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