Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Rockets vs. Hurricanes preview

Game Night Preview: The Kelowna Rockets open a three game Alberta road trip tonight with a stop in Lethbridge. This is the third and final meeting of the season between these two teams. The Rockets are 2-0-0-0 after a 7-4 win back on November 17th and a 4-3 victory on January 17th. The Rockets enter the game with 9 wins in their last 10 games against the Hurricanes, including 4-1-0-0 in their last five visits to the Enmax Centre. Last season the Rockets were 1-1-0-0 with a 6-3 win and a 6-5 loss. In the last four visits to Lethbridge, the Rockets have put up no less than 6 goals per game. The Rockets are coming off an 8-4 win against the Victoria Royals Saturday night. Rookie 15 year-old goaltender Cole Tisdale made franchise history by becoming the youngest goalie (15 years- 9 months – 15 days) to earn a win in his first WHL start. Tisdale, an 8th round WHL bantam pick, made 23 saves in the victory. Overall, the Rockets have won 11 of their last 14. The Rockets are in Medicine Hat Friday before visiting Red Deer to close out the trip on Saturday.
Rockets Tidbits: NHL Central Scouting has released its mid-term rankings. Forward Kyle Topping is rated 65th among North American skaters. Defenceman Libor Zabransky is rated 110th…Dillon Dube has scored 20+ goals in three consecutive seasons. Dube had 20 goals last season in 40 games and had a career high 26 in 2015-2016…Dube has goals in 5 straight games and is riding a 9 game point streak (9+9=18)….Connor Bruggen-Cate has 7 goals in his last 9 games and has points in 7 of his last 9 games…Nolan Foote had his 9 game point streak last Friday in Seattle. Foote had 2+11=13 over that period…The Rockets are attempting to win 30+ games for the 11th straight season. The last time they fell short was in 2006-2007 when the team earned 22 victories.  
Broadcasters Notebook: The Rockets made a deal with the Lethbridge Hurricanes January 8th, 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 January 7th with the Prince Albert Raiders, sending 17 year-old defenceman Konrad Belcourt to PA for a 5th and 8th round pick…The Rockets have 17 wins in their last 23 games…The Rockets record after 46 games this season is 29-14-2-1. Last season the hockey club was 26-16-4-0 after 46 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 (vs. Portland/Prince George), and Kole Lind (Prince Albert/Kamloops)…The Rockets have sent 17 players to Canada’s roster at the World Junior… The Rockets had their 13 game home ice winning streak snapped January 5th vs. Seattle.…The Rockets are 5 and 2 in overtime with game winners coming from Kole Lind, Dillon Dube Carsen Twarynski (twice) and Cal Foote. The only losses in OT came against the Tri City Americans and Portland Winterhawks…The Rockets are 12-4-0-0 against BC Division teams this season….The Rockets are 23-1-0-1 when leading after 2 periods…The Rockets are 21-3-1-1 when scoring the first goal of the game….Erik Gardiner has missed 32 games after being injured October 28th vs. Prince George…The Rockets were 9-4 without Dube at the World Juniors/illness when he missed 13 consecutive games….Kole Lind is riding a 15 game point streak. Lind has 11+17=28 over that stretch….Carsen Twarynski has 6 goals in his last 9 games….Kyle Topping has points in 12 of his last 16 games…Upcoming birthdays: January 27th, Wil Kushniryk, January 28th, Ted Brennan, January 29th - Kaedan Korczak.   
Milestones: Connor Bruggen-Cate played in his 100th game December 30th vs. Victoria…Kyle Topping played in his 100th career game January 10th…Jack Cowell played in his 100th career game January 12th in Seattle…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. 
Roster Stats:
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

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