Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Rockets face old coach

Dan Lambert - Shoot the Breeze Photography
Rockets/Chiefs Preview: This is the first of four meetings between these two teams this season. The Rockets make a return visit in 9 days with a game in Spokane on December 1st. The Chiefs are in Kelowna January 10th and March 4th. In three of the four meetings last season, the games went into overtime with the Chiefs winning all three. In the last five seasons the Rockets are 4-0-2-0 at Veterans Memorial Arena and 7-1-4-0 in the last 12 regular season meetings overall. The Rockets are coming off a 6-1 loss in Vancouver Saturday night. Marek Skrvne scored the lone goal. This is game two of a three game road trip, which has the Rockets in Vancouver Friday night before hosting Medicine Hat on Saturday. The Rockets have points in 6 of their last 8 games and overall have won 4 of their last 5 games.  

Hockey Hotbed: 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.

Broadcasters Notebook: The Rockets face a team tonight whose coach they are very familiar with. Dan Lambert is in his first season behind the bench of the Spokane Chiefs after being hired June 7th. Lambert led the Rockets to a 2015 WHL championship before leaving the organization for the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres…The Rockets have won 7 straight games on home ice with wins over Portland, Tri City, Prince George, Vancouver, Red Deer, Edmonton and Lethbridge….The Rockets have scored 23 goals in their last 5 games….The Rockets played their 16 hundredth regular season game in franchise history Novembr 3rd in Victoria in a 4-2 win…Carsen Twarynski has 9 goals in his last 11 games….James Porter has started in 14 of the last 17 games…The Rockets are 4 and 2 in overtime with game winners coming from Kole Lind, Dillon Dube Carsen Twarynski (twice). The only loss in OT came against the Tri City Americans and Portland Winterhawks…The Rockets are 5-3-1-0 in the second of back-to-back games….November birthdays include Kyle Topping (Nov 18th), Carsen Twarynski (Nov 24th) and Nolan Foote (Nov 29th).

Who’s Hot? Liam Kindree has 2+6=8 in his last 6 games….Kole Lind is riding a 7 game point streak (3+7=10)…Leif Mattson has goals in 7 of his last 11 games.…Kyle Topping has points in 8 of his last 12 games (5+8=13) and has points in 11 of his last 16 games…Gordie Ballhorn has points in 8 of his last 11 games (1+11=12)…Goalie James Porter is 8-1-0-1 in his last 10 starts.

Milestones: Dillon Dube is 1 assists shy of 100 in his career…Carsen Twarynski played in his 200th career game October 28th against the Prince George Cougars…James Hilsendager plays in his 200th career game November 14th vs. Oil Kings.  

Roster Stats:
Player total: 26
Year by Year Breakdown:
20’s (1997) – 3   Ballhorn, Twarynski, Hilsendager           
19’s (1998) - 5   Salmond, Lind, Dube, Cal Foote, Chizen
18’s (1999) - 6   Topping, Mattson, Gardiner, Bruggen-Cate, Cowell, Skvrne
17’s (2000) - 10   Porter, 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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