Rockets @ Giants
Saturday February 11th, 2017
Game Time – 7:05 pm
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets face the Vancouver Giants tonight in the back end of a weekend home and home series between the two BC Division rivals. This is the 5th meeting of the season. The Rockets are 3-1-0-0 and are coming off a 6-0 win over the G-Men last night at Prospera Place. The Rockets have also won by scores of 5-3 and 6-4. The only loss was January 20th with a 5-4 setback at Langley Events Centre. Following tonight’s game, the two teams close out the seasonal series March 10th, 17th and 18th. The Rockets host Seattle on Family Day Monday (2 pm).
What just happened? Nolan Foote scored his first career WHL hat trick in a 6-0 win last night over the Giants. Foote scored his 12th, 13th and 14th goals of the season. The 16 year-old was named the first star. Leif Mattson, the games second star, had two goals while rookie Erik Gardiner found the back of the net for the first time in 11 games. Brodan Salmond, the third star, made 22 saves for his second career shutout. The Rockets fired 56 shots towards the Giants net and were 3 for 7 on the power play.
Scoreboard watching: The Rockets trail the Kamloops Blazers by 6 points for second place in the BC Division. The Rockets have 17 games left while the Blazers have 15 remaining. They are on a collision course to meet in the opening round of the playoffs. Nine of the Rockets final 17 games are against teams in the BC Division while 11 of the Blazers final 15 games are against teams within the division.
Hot as a pistol: Calvin Thurkauf has points in 11 of his last 13 games. Thurkauf has 7+10=17 over that stretch. Kole Lind has points in 7 of his last 9 with 5+11=16 over that period. Nick Merkley has points in 6 of his last 7 games with 5+8=13 over that span. Cal Foote has points in 7 of his last 8 games with 1+7=8. Reid Gardiner has points in 5 of his last 6 games with 4+4=8 over that stretch.
That’s a Fact Jack: The 56 shots the Rockets put up against the Giants last night were a season high. The previous season high was 47 in a 5-1 loss in Kamloops on December 28th…The Rockets have lost the same number of games (20) as they did all of last season…Reid Gardiner has 13 points (6+7=13) in 11 games as a member of the Kelowna Rockets…The Kelowna Rockets have 17 games left in the regular season. Of those 17, 10 of them are against BC Division rivals. The Rockets have four more games against Vancouver, two more vs. Prince George and one 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 15 of their last 16 games…The Rockets have been shorthanded the most times in the entire Canadian Hockey League. The team has been shorthanded 294 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 11 times this season. The teams’ record, not surprisingly, is 0-10-1-0….12 of the teams last 20 games have been decided by a goal.
Broadcasters Bits: Rookie defenceman Conrad Belcourt earned his first career point, an assist, on Leif Mattson’s third period goal last night….Nolan Foote’s three goal game isn’t the first by a Rockets rookie this season. Kyle Topping had three goals in a game in Seattle October 22nd …Calvin Thurkauf and Devante Stephens also have three goal games this season….Kole Lind is the WHL Player of the Week ending February 9th. Lind had 3+5=8 in three games to earn the honour…In the Rockets last 11 losses (regulation or overtime loss) the opposition has opened the scoring….The Rockets are 7-5-1-0 since the trade deadline….The Rockets have scored 10 shorthanded goals this season, the same number as all of last season…..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 12-12-0-0 against BC based teams this season…Michael Herringer has started in 35 of the last 45 games…The Rockets are 8-2-2-0 against U.S Division teams this season.
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150