|Kole Lind - Shoot the Breeze Photo|
Game Night Preview: The Kelowna Rockets play game five of a six game Eastern Division road trip tonight in Prince Albert. These two teams met last season with the Rockets earning a 7-1 win (Nov 12, 2016). The Rockets last appearance in Prince Albert was December 18, 2015 in a 3-1 setback. Lucas Johansen had the lone goal for the visitors. Reid Gardiner had two assists for the Raiders. The Rockets are 1-3-0-0 after a 7-5 win in Regina Friday night, a 7-4 loss in Brandon on Saturday, a 6-3 loss Tuesday in Moose Jaw and a 5-1 setback in Swift Current Wednesday night. After tonight’s game, the Rockets are in Saskatoon to face the Blades tomorrow night. Overall, the Rockets have lost three straight. The team returns home to face the Kamloops Blazers December 27th.
Roady by the #’s: The opposition has opened the scoring in three of the four games. The Rockets are 3 for 14 on the power play in the four games and have surrendered 5 power play goals on 15 killing opportunities. The Rockets have given up 129 shots in the four games while firing a combined 140 shots (average 35 per game) at the opposition net.
Scoring by Period: 1 2 3 Total
Rockets: 6 5 4 15
Opponent: 9 6 8 23
Eastern Division Success: The Rockets were 3-3-0-0 in 2015. The team was an impressive 6-0-0-0 in 2013 and 2-2-0-2 in 2011. They were 3-3-0-0 in 2009. In 2007, the team played only five games on an Eastern Division swing (excluding Swift Current) in December and sported a record of 3-1-0-1. The last time the Rockets failed to go on its bi-annual Eastern Division road trip was 2005. In 2003, the team was 5-0-0-0 but again did not play Swift Current on that road swing. In 2001, the team was 0-4-1-0 in five games.
Broadcasters Notebook: The Rockets are playing their 18th road game tonight. Only the Victoria Royals (19) have played more road games in the BC Division than the Rockets…It looks like Kole Lind will play tonight after being released Thursday by the Canadian world junior team…The Rockets have sent 15 players to Canada’s roster at the World Junior Hockey Championships….Nolan Foote has goals in four of his last 6 games…Kyle Topping and Libor Zabrasky are both rated as ‘C’ prospects for June’s NHL draft by NHL Central Scouting. Topping was not on the ‘Players to Watch’ list in October before appearing in November’s rankings…The Rockets have won 10 straight games on home ice with wins over Portland, Tri City, Prince George (twice), Vancouver, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Kootenay….The Rockets played their 16 hundredth regular season game in franchise history November 3rd in Victoria in a 4-2 win……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 7-5-1-0 in the second of back-to-back games….The Rockets are 9-3-0-0 against BC Division teams this season….The Rockets are 13-1-0-1 when leading after 2 periods…The Rockets are 14-2-1-1 when scoring the first goal of the game.
Milestones: Head Coach Jason Smith coached his 100th career regular season game against the Kootenay Ice on December 2nd…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.
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