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GAME DAY: Rockets open second half of the season on the road

Marissa Baecker

Rockets @ Blazers

Friday, December 28th, 2018

Game Time – 7:00 pm

Game Day Preview: Welcome to the unofficial second half of the WHL season for the Kelowna Rockets. This is technically game #36 (two games past the halfway point) and is the 5th consecutive game on opposition ice after completing a four game in five night Central Division road trip before Christmas. The Rockets enter the game with a record of 16-17-2-0, which is good for second place in the BC Division, 7 points up on the Blazers, who have 4 games in hand. This is only the third meeting of the season between these two teams. They met on the opening weekend of the season with the Blazers winning 4-1 and 3-1. The Rockets meet the Blazers in three of their next four games, with a return engagement tomorrow night at Prospera Place before meeting again at Sandman Centre January 5th. The Rockets are 0-2-0-0 in the seasonal series. The Rockets are coming off a 2-1 win in Medicine Hat back on December 16th. Leif Mattson scored both goals in the win, snapping a mini two-game losing streak. The Rockets are 12-7-2-0 in 21 games under head coach Adam Foote.

Who’s Hot: Nolan Foote has points in 6 of his last 8 games. Foote has 3+6=9 over that stretch…Leif Mattson has 8 goals in his last 11 games. The 19-year-old has registered at least one shot on goal in 34 of the teams 35 games this season. Kyle Topping has registered a point in 25 of the teams 35 games this season… The Rockets penalty killing unit is 30 for 32 in their last seven road games.

Approaching Personal Bests: Liam Kindree is one point shy of the career-high 27 points he put up last season. Kindree has 7+19=26 this season after accumulating 8+19=27 in 50 games a season ago…Nolan Foote is one goal shy of his career high 19 goals scored in his rookie season. Foote scored those 19 goals in 52 games…Half of Foote’s 50 career goals have been scored on the power play.

Broadcasters Notebook: Kyle Topping, Leif Mattson and Nolan Foote have combined to score 51% of the teams 92 goals this season….The Rockets are sending a CHL high three players to the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game next month in Red Deer. Nolan Foote, Lassi Thomson and Kaedan Korczak will attend the game of the top 40 prospects. The game will take place January 23rd…Since going 1-8-0-0 to start the season, the team is 15-9-2-0 in their last 26 games….Kyle Topping’s next goal will be the 50th of his career…Leif Mattson has 5-two-goal games this season. Four of those five-two goal games have come on the road…The Rockets have added 17-year-old forward Alex Swetlikoff to the roster. The Kelowna resident was acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a 4th round bantam pick. Swetlikoff was originally drafted in the third round by the Seattle Thunderbirds.…Lassi Thomson (Finland) and Libor Zabranski (Czech Republic) return to the lineup after failing to make their respective countries rosters for the World Junior Hockey Championships….The Rockets are 6-8-1-0 against BC Division teams this season….The Rockets have only one December birthday to celebrate. Lane Zablocki officially turned 20 yesterday (December 27th) …Four members of the Kelowna Rockets have been named to NHL Central Scouting’s November “Players to Watch’ List. Forward Nolan Foote is an ‘A’ prospect, meaning a first-round candidate. Kaedan Korczak and Lassi Thomson are ‘B’ prospects which means they are second or third round candidates. Roman Basran is a ‘C’ prospect, which means he could be taken in the third to the seventh round…Adam Foote was officially named the new head coach of the Kelowna Rockets on October 23, 2018, replacing Jason Smith..The Rockets are 4-8-1-0 when playing the second game of back-to-backs.

Season Highs/Lows:

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 shutout on the road: November 10, 2018 @ Portland (3-0 L)

Last shutout at home: December 7, 2018 vs. Victoria (2-0 W – Roman Basran 16 saves)

Most power play goals allowed: 4 vs. Seattle October 10th, 2018 (9-6 L). T-Birds were 4/5 on the power play.

Most power play goals scored: 4 @ Victoria October 19, 2018 (8-2 W)

 

Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150

 

 

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