Friday, November 24, 2017

Rockets vs. Giants preview

James Porter - Shoot the Breeze Photography
Rockets/Giants Preview: This is the third of eight meetings between the Kelowna Rockets and Vancouver Giants this season. The Rockets are 1-1-0-0 after a 5-4 overtime win back on November 10th before losing 6-1 back on November 18th. The Rockets power play is 3 for 8 (37.5%) in the seasonal series while the Giants are an impressive 5 for 7 (71.4%). In the last 26 regular season games between the two teams, the Rockets are 22-4-0-0. Following tonight’s game, these two teams don’t meet again until January 13th.  The Rockets are coming off a 6-2 loss Wednesday night in Spokane. Connor Bruggen-Cate and Carsen Twarynski scored in the setback. This is game three of a three game road trip for the Rockets (0-2-0-0), who host Central Division Medicine Hat tomorrow night. The Rockets have points in 6 of their last 9 games and overall have won 4 of their last 6 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 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 25 goals in their last 6 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 10 goals in his last 12 games….James Porter has started in 15 of the last 18 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+7=9 in his last 7 games….Kole Lind is riding a 7 game point streak (3+7=10)…Leif Mattson has goals in 7 of his last 12 games.…Kyle Topping has points in 8 of his last 13 games (5+8=13) and has points in 11 of his last 17 games…Gordie Ballhorn has points in 8 of his last 12 games (1+11=12)…Goalie James Porter is 8-2-0-1 in his last 11 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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