Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets have won nine of their last ten games heading into a date with the Everett Silvertips. The Rockets are 3-0-0-0 in the seasonal series against the Tips, having out-scored their U.S Division rivals 15-7. These two teams last met January 22nd with the Rockets earning a 6-3 win. The Rockets last visited Everett on October 2nd and recorded a 6-3 win. Nick Merkley and Madison Bowey each scored twice in the teams’ third win of the season. The Rockets have won 4 straight after a 3-1 victory Saturday night in Vancouver. Marek Tvrdon scored the game winner on the power play in the second period as the Rockets scored the final three goals of the game. Following tonight’s game the Rockets host Spokane tomorrow night before welcoming Tri City on Saturday.
Racing for a Record: The Kelowna Rockets are trying to set a franchise record for the most wins in a season. The current mark is held by this year’s team and last year’s, which won 52 times. Here are the top records:
2013-2014: 52 wins
2012-2013: 52 wins
2002-2003: 51 wins
2008-2009: 47 wins
2003-2004: 47 wins
The facts on 1st place: The Rockets lead the Portland Winterhawks by 9 points for first place in the WHL standings. The Rockets have 7 games left while the Winterhawks also have seven. Portland plays five of its’ final 7 games on home ice. Of those seven games, three are against arch rival Seattle. Five of the Rockets last 7 games are against teams in the BC Division. The Rockets magic number for claiming the WHL regular season title is 3.5. Any combination of Rockets wins and Winterhawks losses adding up to 3.5 will give the hockey club its first WHL regular season championship since 2002-2003.
Who’s Hot: Nick Merkley has points in ten of his last eleven games. The 16 year-old has 8+6=14 over that period. Marek Tvrdon has 15 points in his last eleven games (6+9=15). Damon Severson has points in twelve of his last 15 games…Myles Bell has 20 goals in his last 27 games….The Rockets are 45-5-0-4 in their last 54 home games dating back to last season. Rourke Chartier has 4+8=12 in his last 9 games…Chartier has 30 points in his last 29 games.
This and That: At this point last season the team was 46-15-3-1 after 65 games…The Rockets can set a new franchise record for points in a season. The Rockets have 108 points while the team record is 109 points set by the 2002-2003 team…After 65 games last season the team had scored 285 goals. This year after 65 games the team has scored 282 times….The team has surrendered 164 goals this season. At this point last season the Rockets had allowed 166 goals against…For the first time in franchise history the Kelowna Rockets are enjoying back-to-back 50 wins seasons….With three road games left in the regular season the hockey club can set a new WHL record for road wins if they win all three games. The Rockets have 27 road wins while the league record is 29 wins on opposition ice. …Myles Bell became the first player since Geordie Wudrick to score 40 or more goals in a season. Wudrick had 43 in 2010-2011….The Rockets have six more wins on the road than the 21 they had all of last season…Of Myles Bell’s 41 goals this season, 22 have been scored on the road with 19 coming on home ice…The Rockets are 9-5-0-0 in their last 14 road games…The Rockets are 7-1-0-2 in their last 10 home games and have won five straight…The Rockets are 19-4-0-2 since the WHL trade deadline.…The Rockets have been involved in 10-one goal games on home ice this season…Cole Martin is +104 over the last two seasons…The Rockets have 7 games left in the regular season. Four are on home ice with three on the road…The Rockets have scored six or more goals eleven times on home ice this season… The Rockets are 16-4-0-0 in the second game when facing back-to-back scenarios this season….The team has been rated as the best team in the CHL according to the Top 10 junior rankings for a 9th consecutive week….After losing two of his first three games, Jackson Whistle has won fifteen of his last sixteen games and is riding a personal 8 game winning streak….The Rockets have played in 9 shootout games this season and are 5 and 4. Four of the five shootout wins have come on the road in Tri City, Victoria, Prince George and Seattle…Jordon Cooke is 43-6-0-3 at home in last 52 starts at home dating back to last season…The Rockets have scored 4 or more goals in 24 of their 34 road games this season…In 7 of the Rockets 9 regulation losses this season, leading scorer Myles Bell has failed to score.