Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Rockets/G-Men game notes

Nolan Foote- Shoot the Breeze Photography
Game Day Preview: The Kelowna Rockets face the Vancouver Giants for the first time this season. These two teams get reacquainted when the two teams collide in Langley on Sunday October 21st. Last season the Rockets were 5-2-1-0 in eight games against the G-Men. Carsen Twarynski led the team with 7 goals in 7 games. The Rockets have won 26 of the last 27 regular season games at Prospera Place against the G-Men. The Rockets are coming off a 5-2 win in Prince George Saturday night. Leif Mattson (2+1=3) and Nolan Foote (1+2=3) led the way in the first win of the season. Following tonight’s game, the Rockets host Victoria Friday before visiting the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday night.   

Trade Winds Blow: The Rockets made a trade with the Victoria Royals Saturday September 29th. The team acquired 20 year-old Lane Zablocki for a conditional 7th round and conditional 4th round bantam draft pick. Zablocki is a third round NHL draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings (2017 – unsigned). In the 2016-2017 campaign, Zablocki scored 28 goals split between the Regina Pats and Red Deer Rebels. Zablocki has played with the Pats, Rebels, Hurricanes and the Royals.  Zablocki never played a game with the WHL team that drafted him in 2013 – the Prince George Cougars. 

Broadcasters Notebook: Five members of the Kelowna Rockets have been named to NHL Central Scoutings “Players to watch’ list. Forward Nolan Foote is an ‘A’ prospect, meaning a first round candidate. Kaedan Korczak is a ‘B’ prospect which means he is projected to be selected in the second or third round. Roman Basran, Kyle Topping and Lassi Thomson are ‘C’ prospect, which means they could be taken in the third to the seventh round…..Dillon Dube has made the opening day roster of the NHL’s Calgary Flames. Dube scored 38 goals with the Kelowna Rockets last season….Shea Weber was named the 30th captain of the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. Weber won a Memorial Cup with the Kelowna Rockets in 2004 and was the WHL playoff MVP in 2005… The Rockets have not opened the scoring in four of the five games this season….The Rockets have trailed going onto the third period in four of the five games…Rookie Ethan Ernst earned his first career WHL point last Friday in Prince George with an assist, on Connor Bruggen-Cate’s third period goal….Head Coach Jason Smith returns for his third season at the helm. Both assistant Kris Mallette and Travis Crickard enter their 5th seasons in the WHL….The Rockets are in their 24th season in the Okanagan after relocating from Tacoma for the start of the 1995-1996 season…The Rockets have made the playoffs 11 consecutive seasons…The team has averaged 104 points in the last 6 seasons including a franchise high 118 in the 2013-2014 campaign when the hockey club lost only 11 times…

Who’s Gone: The Rockets lose their top four point producers in Kole Lind, Dillon Dube, Carsen Twarynski and Cal Foote. That is over 300 points missing from the 2018-2019 roster. Also graduating was 20 year-old’s James Hilsendager and Gordie Ballhorn. Goaltender Brodan Salmond was claimed off waivers in the summer by Moose Jaw while Czech born forward Marek Skrvne was released. In total, 8 players from last year’s team are not with the hockey club.  Kole Lind was the leading scorer while Cal Foote was named the defenceman of the year.

New Faces: The team welcomes three rookies back on the defensive core. Listed player Devin Steffler is joined by Finnish born blueliner Lassi Thomson. Joining those two is 17 year-old Cayde Augustine (turns 17 October 5th). Up front, the team has added 16 year-old Ethan Ernst (3rd round pick in 2017), 17 year-old Kyle Crosbie (8th round pick in 2016),and acquired 20 year-old Ryan Bowen via trade with the Lethbridge Hurricanes last season. The team also obtained the playing rights to Mark Liwiski, a third round bantam pick of the Silvertips from 2016.  

Roster Stats:
Player total: 24
Year by Year Breakdown:
20’s (1998) – 2   Zablocki, Chizen, Bowen          
19’s (1999) - 5   Topping, Mattson, Gardiner, Bruggen-Cate, Cowell
18’s (2000) - 10 Tomson, Brennan, Porter, Foote, Zabransky, Kindree, Brennan, Kushniryk, Pow, Steffler,
17’s (2001) - 6   Korczak, Crosbie, Basran, Liwiski, Wilton, Augustine
16’s (2002) - 1   Ernst

Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150

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