|Shoot the Breeze Photography|
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets wrap up a three game road trip tonight in Kamloops. This is the 9th of 10 meetings between these two teams this season. The Rockets are 3-5-0-0 but are 0-3-0-0 at the Sandman Centre, having scored only four goals in three games. The Rockets have lost by scores of 9-2, 5-1 and 3-1. The home team has won 6 of the 8 games in the seasonal series. The Rockets have lost four straight games in Kamloops dating back to last season. The last win was December 27/2015 in a 2-1 victory at Sandman. The team teams wrap up 10 game series February 24th at Prospera Place.
What just happened? The Kelowna Rockets are coming off back-to-back wins in Prince George on the weekend. It marked only the second time this season a team has swept the Cougars on home ice. Everett did it earlier this season. The Rockets were a 3-2 winner Friday and earned a 5-1 win Saturday night on the heels of 2+1=3 from Reid Gardiner and 1+2=3 from Kole Lind. Nick Merkley had two goals as the team won for a third consecutive game. The Rockets were 8 for 8 on the penalty kill and out-shot and scored the opening goal in both games.
Scoreboard watching: The Rockets trail the Blazers by 5 points for second place in the BC Division. Both teams have 19 games remaining in the regular season and are on a collision course to meet in the opening round of the playoffs. Eleven of the Rockets final 19 games are against teams in the BC Division while 13 of the Blazers final 19 games are against teams within the division. These two teams have scored the exact same number of goals this season (186).
Hot as a pistol: Calvin Thurkauf is riding an 11 game point streak, the longest of his career. Thurkauf has 7+10=17 over that stretch. Kole Lind has points in 6 of his last 7 with 5+9=14 over that period. Nick Merkley has a five game point streak with 5+7=12 over that span. Cal Foote has points in 5 of his last 6 games with 1+6=7. Reid Gardiner has a four game point streak with 4+3=7 over that stretch.
That’s a Fact Jack: Reid Gardiner is on pace, had he played a full 72 regular season games, for a 96 point season. Gardiner has 12 points (6+6=12) in 9 games as a member of the Kelowna Rockets...The Kelowna Rockets have 19 games left in the regular season. Of those 19, 11 of them are against BC Division rivals. The Rockets have five more games against Vancouver, two more vs. Prince George and two more against the Kamloops Blazers and Victoria Royals. The team has two more each against US Division Everett, Seattle and Spokane and a single against Tri City. Edmonton is the only Central Division team they face down the stretch…The Rockets have generated 30 or more shots in 13 of their last 14 games…The Rockets have been shorthanded the most times in the entire Canadian Hockey League. The team has been shorthanded 283 times…NHL Central Scouting has released its mid-term rankings. Cal Foote is dated 12th among North American skaters while Kole Lind is ranked 21s…The Rockets have surrendered 5 or more goals 10 times this season. The teams’ record, not surprisingly, is 0-9-1-0….12 of the teams last 18 games have been decided by a goal.
Broadcasters Bits: The Rockets are 6-4-1-0 since the trade deadline….Reid Gardiner has been a star in four of the 9 games he has played this season….The Rockets have scored 10 shorthanded goals this season, the same number as all of last season…..Calvin Thurkauf played in his 100th career game last Wednesday against the Calgary Hitmen…Michael Herringer played in his 100th career Friday night in Prince George…..GM Bruce Hamilton has traded/released six players from the teams opening day roster…Kole Lind had his 13 game point streak snapped December 18th against the Edmonton Oil Kings. It is the longest point streak by a Rockets player this season …Calvin Thurkauf was named the WHL Player of the Week December 7th to 11th …The Rockets were 8-3-2-0 in December...The Rockets were 6-4-0-0 in 10 games in November after going 8-4-0-0 in 12 games in October…The Rockets are the only team in the WHL that has failed to surrender a shorthanded goal against this season…The Rockets are 11-11-0-0 against BC based teams this season…Michael Herringer has started in 34 of the last 43 games…The Rockets are 8-2-2-0 against U.S Division teams this season.
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150