|Shoot the Breeze Photography|
Rockets/Hurricanes Preview: This is the first of three meetings this season. The Hurricanes make a return visit January 17th before the Rockets make their lone appearance at ENMAX Centre on January 24th. The Rockets and Hurricanes met twice last season with the Rockets earning a 6-3 win October 5th before the Hurricanes recorded a 6-5 victory on December 11th. In the big picture, the Rockets are riding a 7 game home ice winning streak against the Hurricanes, who haven’t won at Prospera Place since January 20, 2012. In the last 15 regular season meetings, the Rockets have come out on the winning end 13 times. Following tonight’s game, the Rockets open a three game road trip with stops in Vancouver (tomorrow), Spokane (Tuesday) and Vancouver again one week from tonight. The Rockets have points in 5 of their last 6 games.
Anholt Returns: The Lethbridge Hurricanes General Manager is Peter Anholt. Anholt is in his third season with the Hurricanes but also coached in the WHL with the Kelowna Rockets between 1996 and 1998. Anholt was a head coach to defenceman Kris Mallette, who is now an assistant coach with the Kelowna Rockets. Anholt’s assistant during in two seasons here was Glen Cochrane, who is a Kelowna resident and is now an NHL scout with the Anaheim Ducks.
Hockey Hotbed: The Kelowna Rockets are in their 27th year of existence since coming into the Western Hockey League as an expansion franchise in 1991. After four seasons in Tacoma, the team relocated to Kelowna in 1995-96, where the team has spent the last 22 years in the Okanagan. The team has four WHL championships (2003, 2005, 2009, 2015) and have missed the playoffs only once in their existence. The hockey club has made four straight appearances in the Western Conference final and has registered 40 or more wins in five consecutive seasons.
Broadcasters Notebook: The Rockets have won 6 straight games on home ice with wins over Portland, Tri City, Prince George, Vancouver, Red Deer and Edmonton….The Rockets have scored 15 goals in their last three games….The Rockets played their 16 hundredth regular season game in franchise history Novembr 3rd in Victoria in a 4-2 win…Carsen Twarynski has 9 goals in his last 9 games….James Porter has started in 12 of the last 15 games…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 5-2-1-0 in the second of back-to-back games….November birthdays include Kyle Topping (Nov 18th), Carsen Twarynski (Nov 24th) and Nolan Foote (Nov 29th).
Who’s Hot? Liam Kindree has 1+6=7 in his last four games and is riding a four game point streak….Kole Lind is riding a 7 game point streak (3+7=10)…Leif Mattson has goals in 6 of his last 9 games.…Carsen Twarynski has goals in 5 of his last 9 games and has 9 goals over that stretch…Kyle Topping has points in 7 of his last 10 games (4+6=10) and has points in 10 of his last 14 games…Gordie Ballhorn has points in 7 of his last 9 games (1+9=10)…Goalie James Porter is 7-0-0-1 in his last 8 starts.
Milestones: Dillon Dube is 1 assists shy of 100 in his career…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) - 4 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