|Kelowna Rockets at Seattle Thunderbirds
NOTES PREPARED BY REGAN BARTEL OF AM 1150
- Tonight’s Preview: It is a reunion of sorts for three members of the Kelowna Rockets. Dillon Hamaliuk, Jake Lee and Cole Schwebius return to where their WHL careers started when they face their old team, the Seattle Thunderbirds this evening. All three were involved in a blockbuster trade in May that saw the trio arrive in Kelowna for two-first round WHL bantam picks and 20-year-old Connor Bruggen-Cate. The Rockets make a return visit to Kent, Washington November 22nd. The T-Birds make two visits to Prospera Place this season on January 24th and March 6th. Last season the Rockets were 9-6 and 3-2 overtime losers to the T-Birds on home ice and were a 4-1 loser before scoring a 3-1 victory at Accesso ShoWare Centre in two appearances. Tonight’s game is the conclusion of three straight games on the road, after the Rockets split a pair of games in Prince George on the weekend. The Rockets were a 2-1 winner Friday when Pavel Novak scored twice in the victory. A night later, the Rockets received their lone goal from Nolan Foote in a 4-1 loss. The Cougars held a slim 2-1 lead after 40 minutes before scoring two empty-net goals for their first win of the season. Following tonight’s game, the Rockets return home to face the Kamloops Blazers tomorrow night before hosting Swift Current Wednesday.
Tale of The Tape
Kelowna Rockets (4-2-0-1 – 9 points)
1st in B.C. Division | 1st in Western Conference
Power Play: 10/36 – 27.8% (4th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 21/28 – 75.0% (13th in WHL)
Last Ten: 4-2-1-0 Streak: 0-1-0-0
Seattle Thunderbirds (2-3-0-0 – 4 points)
4th in U.S. Division | T5th in Western Conference
Power Play: 4/23 – 17.4% (17th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 16/24 – 66.7% (20th in WHL)
Last Ten: 2-3-0-0 Streak: 1-0-0-0
*pizza code only valid for West Kelowna and Kelowna locations
**puck can only be shipped within BC
- Broadcasters Notebook: Pavel Novak is a ‘C’ prospect for next June’s NHL Draft. Those rankings released by NHL Central Scouting. A ‘C’ prospect is regarded as a player selected between the 5th and 7th round. The 2020 NHL Entry Draft will be held in Montreal….Novak has 3+3=6 in his last three games and has been named the first star in two of his last three contests…The Rockets organization has the bragging rights of having 14 former players start the season on an NHL roster. That is the most of any team in the WHL, with Brandon next at 10 and Portland with 9 alumni….The Rockets have the second most games played by alumni in the NHL of any team in the Canadian Hockey League. Only the London Knights of the OHL have more….The Rockets are 4-2-1-0 after seven games this season. It took the team 13 games last season to reach four wins.….Last season, the Rockets were 1-6-0-0 after seven games …Kyle Topping has goals in four of seven games this season…Topping played in his 200th career WHL game last Friday in Prince George….Roman Basran has started in six of seven games this season…. Newly acquired forward Dillon Hamaliuk was selected in the second round by the San Jose Sharks. Hamaliuk was acquired in a trade with Seattle back in May….Jake Lee received a free-agent tryout with the Sharks, attending the teams rookie camp…Back on October 3rd, the Rockets were awarded the host site for the 2020 Kia Memorial Cup, beating out bids from Kamloops and Lethbridge.
- That’s a fact – Jack! The team essentially welcomes back 17 of the 22 players that wore a Rockets jersey last season. That includes 5 of the teams’ top 6 scorers in Kyle Topping, Leif Mattson, Nolan Foote, Liam Kindree and Kaedan Korczak. Topping led the team with 69 points while Mattson and Foote collected 63 points apiece. Foote led the team in goals with 36. The team said farewell to 20 year-old’s Schael Higson, Dalton Gally and Matt Barberis. The team also parted ways with Lassi Thomson, Conner Bruggen-Cate and Ted Brennan. Adam Foote returns as head coach for his first full season behind the bench with Kris Mallette and Vernon Fiddler as his assistants. Fiddler was added to the staff on July 3rd.
You can listen to the game on AM 1150, watch on WHL Live or follow the Rockets Twitter for live updates.