Game Day Preview: The Kelowna Rockets face the Spokane Chiefs for the first of four times this season. Yep, the Chiefs are the only team the Rockets haven’t played this season until now. The two teams meet again February 6th in Kelowna before clashing again February 22nd at Veterans Memorial Arena. The seasonal series ends March 13th at Prospera Place. Last season the Rockets were 2 and 2 in the four games between these two teams, who haven’t met in the playoffs since 2003. The Rockets eliminated the Chiefs in four straight games in the second round. The Rockets are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss Wednesday night to the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. Mark Liwiski and Kyle Crosby scored in the setback, Roman Basran, the first star, made 35 saves in the loss. Following tonight’s game, the Rockets return home to face Kamloops Saturday night. Overall, the Rockets are 4-7-2-1 in 14 games since the Christmas break. The Rockets are 16-14-4-1 in 35 games under head coach Adam Foote.
Who’s Hot: Kyle Topping has 6+8=14 in his last 13 games…Nolan Foote has 6+6=12 in his last 11 games….Lassi Thomson has 4+3=7 in his last 11 games…The Rockets penalty killing unit is 43 for 53 in their last 12 road games…The Rockets have points in 12 of their last 16 home games (9-4-3-0).
Broadcasters Notebook: Did you know that Rockets head coach Adam Foote and Chiefs head coach Dan Lambert were teammates with the Quebec Nordiques? Foote wore sweater #52 while Lambert wore #50 as raw rookies in the 1991-92 season….Trevor Wong is in the lineup this evening. The 15 year-old will suit up for his third game in the WHL after making his debut October 27th against Prince George. Wong was the Rockets first round pick (18th) in the 2018 WHL bantam draft….The Rockets have 19 games left in the regular season. Of those 19, 12 are against teams in the BC Division…The team will play three games in three nights March 1st, 2nd and 3rd…..The team has been out-shot in 12 of the last 13 games…The Rockets are 5-7-1-0 in 13 games against a US Division team this season. Three of the four wins have come against Tri City with a single victory over Everett and Seattle…The team plays 7 more games against US Division rivals with four games against Spokane, two with Portland and a single against Everett.…The Rockets have played 15-one goal games at home this season. Last year they played 15-one goal games at Prospera Place…The team has played in nine-one goal games on the road…The Rockets are 8-12-2-1 against BC Division teams this season…Five members of the Kelowna Rockets have made NHL Central Scouting’s latest rankings. Lassi Thomson is rated 14th, Nolan Foote is ranked 26th and Kaedan Korczak is 31st. Kyle Topping is 195th while Alex Swetlikoff is 217th, Among goalies, Roman Basran is 11th among North American netminders…..Adam Foote was officially named the new head coach of the Kelowna Rockets on October 23, 2018 replacing Jason Smith.,,The Rockets are 7-11-1-0 when playing the second game of back-to-backs….The team acquired 20 year-old Shael Higson from the Brandon Wheat Kings for 20 year-old Braydyn Chizen and a 5th round bantam pick. The team then claimed 20 year-old defenceman Matt Barberis off waivers from the Vancouver Giants. To make room for Barberis, the team released overage forward Lane Zablocki, who is now with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers.
Most goals scored: 8 @ Victoria October 19/18 (8-2 W)
Most goals allowed: 9 vs. Seattle October 10th, 2018 (9-6 L)
Most shots on net: 45 @ Seattle October 6th, 2018 (4-1 L).
Fewest shots on net: 13 @ Edmonton November 17, 2018 (3-1 L)
Most shots allowed: 50 @ Portland November 10, 2018 (3-0 L)
Fewest shots allowed: 16 vs. Victoria December 7, 2018 (2-0 win)
Last time shut out at home: October 3rd, 2018 vs. Vancouver (5-0 L)
Last time shut out on road: November 10, 2018 @ Portland (3-0 L)
Last shutout at home: December 7, 2018 vs. Victoria (2-0 W - Roman Basran 16 saves)
Last shutout on the road: January 18, 2019 @ Everett (2-0 W – James Porter 40 saves)
Most power play goals allowed: 4 vs. Seattle October 10th, 2018 (9-6 L). T-Birds were 4/5 on power play.
Most power play goals scored: 4 @ Victoria October 19, 2018 (8-2 W)
Overtime Games: vs. Seattle (3-2 Loss) January 30, 2019, @ Kamloops (3-2 Loss) December 28, 2018, vs. Saskatoon (5-4 Loss) December 1, 2018, @ Tri City Nov 30, 2018 (3-2 win), @ PG (4-3 Loss) November 14, 2018, vs. PG (4-3 win) October 27, 2018.
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150