GAME DAY: Rockets Look to Even Weekend Series in Portland

Chad Baker

Rockets @ Winterhawks

Sunday October 15th, 2017

Game Time – 5:05 pm


Tonight’s Preview: 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.


Rockets vs. Hawks: These two teams are going to get to know each other very well over the next week. The Rockets host the Winterhawks in back-to-back games next weekend (Friday/Saturday) at Prospera Place to wrap up the seasonal series. These two teams meet only four times, twice in Portland and twice in Kelowna. The fact that both teams play a doubleheader in each city is a traveling bonus. Typically, the Rockets and Winterhawks meet in the WHL playoffs as well. Last season, in round two, the Rockets eliminated the Winterhawks in five games.


Porter enters record books: Rookie goaltender James Porter joined an elusive group by becoming only the third American born goaltender in Kelowna Rockets franchises history to start a game. Porter, from Bonners Ferry, Idaho joined Adam Brown (Yorba Linda, California) and Mark Guggenberger (Richfield, Minnesota) when he started a game in Prince George October 7/17. Porter became the youngest American born goaltender to win a game in a Rockets uniform at 17 years, 5 months and 7 days, beating Adam Brown, who won his first WHL game at 17 years, 11 months and 29 days. Brown also beat Prince George for his first career victory October 11, 2008 in a 1-0 win.


Broadcasters Notebook: After opening up the scoring in the first five games of the regular season, the opposition has opened the scoring in back-to-back gamesKole Lind turns 19 on Monday….The Rockets were 2-0-0-0 in Portland last season, winning 5-3 and 3-2. Devante Stephens had three goals in the opening game before the Rockets railed from a 2-0 deficit to score three straight goals in a 3-2 win. Both games were played at the Moda Centre…The Rockets were 1-1-0-0 at home against the Winterhawks last season, winning 4-1 and losing 5-4 when Joachim Blichfeld scored the game winning goal with 4 seconds left in regulation time…The Rockets are 8-2-3-0 in their last 13 regular season meetings against the Winterhawks, including 5-0-2-0 in their last 7 visits to the Rose City…The Rockets boast one first round NHL draft pick and two second rounders. Cal Foote was chosen 14th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in June while Kole Lind (2nd round (33RD) Canucks – 2017) and Dillon Dube (2nd round (56th) Flames – 2016) were picked in the second round….Nolan Foote, last season’s rookie of the year, is not eligible to be drafted until June 2019…Rookie Colum McGauley is the younger brother of former Brandon Wheat Kings forward Tim McGauley. McGauley was a 1st round WHL bantam pick of the Saskatoon Blades in 2010. Colum McGauley has six siblings, three brothers and three sisters…Kole Lind is riding an 8 game point streak or has a point in every game this season.


Milestones: Dillon Dube is 7 assists shy of 100 in his career…Kole Lind is 5 assists shy of 100 for his career… Lind is 6 games shy of 200 for his career…Cal Foote played in his 150th career game last night…James Hilsendager has played a team high 188th WHL regular season games…Carsen Twarynski is 6 games shy of 200 for his WHL career.


Roster Stats:

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) – 7   Topping, Mattson, Gardiner, Bruggen-Cate, Cowell, Porter, Skvrne

17’s (2000) – 9   Nolan Foote, Belcourt, Zabransky, Kindree, Brennan, McGauley, Kushniryk, Pow, Hair

16’s (2001) – 1   Korczak


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

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