GAME DAY: Rockets look to split home-and-home with Blazers

Allen Douglas

Rockets vs. Blazers

Saturday, December 29th,  2018

Game Time – 7:05 pm

Game Day Preview: Welcome to the back-end of a home and home series against the Kamloops Blazers. Last night the Blazers beat the Rockets 3-2 in overtime. Lane Zablocki and Kaedan Korczak scored in the one-goal loss. It was Korczak’s first goal in 24 games. The Rockets had a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes before the Blazers scored three of the final four goals of the game. James Porter made 26 saves while the Rockets fired 38 shots the other way. The Rockets were 1 for 7 on the power play. Last night’s game was the first time since December 28, 2007, that the Blazers have beaten the Rockets in the first game after the Christmas break. The Rockets were riding a 7 game winning streak over that period. The Rockets enter tonight’s game with a record of 16-17-3-0, which is good for a two-way tie for second place in the BC Division with the Victoria Royals while sitting 6 points up on the Blazers, who have 4 games in hand. This is the fourth meeting of the season between these two teams. The Rockets are 0-2-1-0 in the three previous games, losing by scores of 4-3, 3-1 and 3-2 in overtime. The Rockets are 12-7-3-0 in 22 games under head coach Adam Foote.

Who’s Hot: Nolan Foote has points in 6 of his last 9 games. Foote has 3+6=9 over that stretch…Leif Mattson has 8 goals in his last 12 games. The 19-year-old has registered at least one shot on goal in 35 of the teams 36 games this season. Kyle Topping has registered a point in 25 of the teams 36 games this season… The Rockets penalty killing unit is 33 for 36 in their last eight 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: Alex Swetlikoff made his WHL debut last night in KamloopsThe 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 15-9-3-0 in their last 27 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 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 6-8-2-0 against BC Division teams this season…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 is a ‘B’ prospects which means he is a second or third round candidate. 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 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)

Overtime Games: @ Kamloops (3-2 Loss) December 28, 2018, vs. Saskatoon (5-4 Loss) December 1, 2018, @ Tri City Nov 30, 2018 (3-2 win), @ PG (4-3 Loss) November 14, 2018, vs. PG (4-3 win) October 27, 2018.


Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel of AM 1150



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