|Former Kelowna Rockets HC Dan Lambert returns to face old team|
Game Night Preview: The Kelowna Rockets are back on home ice hosting the Spokane Chiefs. This is the third meeting of the season between these two teams. Back on November 22nd the Chiefs earned a 6-2 victory before the Rockets scored a 4-2 win back on December 1st. After tonight’s game, the seasonal series ends March 3rd at Prospera Place. In the last 14 regular season games between these two teams, the Rockets are an impressive 8-2-4-0. Carsen Twarynski leads the Rockets in the seasonal series against the Chiefs with 2+1=3. Both power plays have struggled against one another. The Rockets are 1 for 7 while the Chiefs are 1 for 10. Overall, the Rockets have won 7 of their last 8 games with wins over Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Kamloops (twice), Victoria, Tri City and Calgary. The Rockets travel to Seattle Friday and Vancouver Saturday night.
Golden Boys: The Rockets were an impressive 7-3-0-0 without Dillon Dube or Cal Foote in their lineup. Both Dube and Foote return to game action tonight. Dube and Foote helped Canada earn gold at the World Junior Hockey Championships. Dube and Foote are the 9th and 10th members of the organization to win gold. Robb Gordon, Blake Comeau, Shea Weber, Luke Schenn, Tyler Myers, Jamie Benn, Josh Morrissey and Madison Bowey are all on that prestigious list.
Broadcasters Notebook: The Rockets made a deal with the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Monday, acquiring the playing rights to 19 year-old forward Ryan Bowen for a 8th round bantam pick. Ryan Bowen is the older brother of prospect Ethan Bowen….The Rockets made a deal Sunday with the Prince Albert Raiders, sending 17 year-old defenceman Konrad Belcourt to PA for a 5th and 8th round pick…The Rockets have 13 wins in their last 17 games with those four losses coming to Moose Jaw, Brandon, Swift Current and Tri City…The Rockets record after 40 games this season is 25-12-2-1. Last season the hockey club was 23-14-3-0 after 40 games….James Porter was named the WHL and CHL Goaltender of the Week ending December 31st after posting a 2-0-0-0 record including one shutout with a goals against average of 0.48 and a save percentage of .987…The Rockets have four hat-tricks this season from Carsen Twarynski (two vs. Portland/one vs. Prince George), and Kole Lind (vs. Prince Albert and Kamllops)…Lind had three goals in a game against the Kamloops Blazers in December, 2015…The Rockets have sent 17 players to Canada’s roster at the World Junior…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 had their 13 game home ice winning streak snapped last Friday night. The team racked up wins over Portland, Tri City, Prince George (twice), Vancouver, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Kootenay and Kamloops (twice), Victoria and Tri City….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 9-5-1-0 in the second of back-to-back games….The Rockets are 12-3-0-0 against BC Division teams this season….The Rockets are 19-1-0-1 when leading after 2 periods…The Rockets are 19-2-1-1 when scoring the first goal of the game….Erik Gardiner has missed 26 games after being injured October 28th vs. Prince George.
Milestones: Connor Bruggen-Cate played in his 100th game December 30th vs. Victoria…Kyle Topping is playing in his 100th career game tonight….Jack Cowell is playing in his 99th career game tonight – 1 shy of 100….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: 25
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) - 9 Porter, Foote, 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