|Kelowna Rockets at Seattle Thunderbirds
The Kelowna Rockets will be looking to string together three consecutive wins for the first time this season when they face the high-flying Seattle Thunderbirds.
The Rockets are coming off back-to-back wins at Prospera Place on the weekend, downing the Spokane Chiefs 10-3 on Friday and the Tri-City Americans 5-3 on Saturday. While the Rockets offence was in high gear all weekend, the penalty kill was busy as well, shutting down seven of the eight attempts Spokane had and all six Tri-City man advantages.
“The discipline aspect of things is something that we’ve definitely got to make sure that we get under control,” said Rockets head coach Kris Mallette. “There’s a lot of positives out of Saturday’s game that we’ll be able to watch on video and go over as a group, just to try and reinforce that same mentality and clean up some of those areas that we need to work on.”
With a record of 13-3-1-0, Seattle currently sits second in both the US Division and Western Conference standings. They moved up one spot to the fifth position in the Week 8 edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings released on Tuesday.
Seattle only played one game last week, coming away with a 2-1 overtime win over the Everett Silvertips on Saturday night at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, WA.
The last time these two met
In their first meeting since the T-Birds eliminated the Rockets in the first round of the 2022 playoffs, Seattle handed Kelowna a 5-4 loss on October 7th at Prospera Place.
Andrew Cristall earned the game’s first star after scoring the first two goals of the game and adding an assist, Jari Kykkanen made 36 saves on 41 shots. Edmonton Oilers 2022 first-round pick Reid Schaefer led the Thunderbirds offence with a pair of goals, while goaltender Thomas Milic turned aside 32 of the 38 shots the Rockets fired at him.
The Rockets will be without Colton Dach, he will serve a one-game suspension for the check to the head major and game misconduct he received against Tri-City on Saturday.
Rookie forward Logan Peskett has missed the last two games with a lower-body injury, he was listed on Tuesday’s injury report as day-to-day.
Click here to view the Rockets Injury Report.
Players to watch
- Andrew Cristall‘s rating on the NHL’s Central Scouting Preliminary Players to Watch List was boosted from a ‘B’ to an ‘A’ on Tuesday. The Rockets forward is currently riding a career-high eight-game point streak that has seen him record 22 points (8G, 14A) over that span.
- Rookie forward Ethan Neutens picked up his first two career points, notching a pair of assists in Friday’s win over Spokane on Saturday.
- Typically a shutdown defender, Jackson DeSouza recorded four points over the weekend. He picked up a pair of assists on Friday and then netted two goals on Saturday.
- Montreal Canadiens prospect Jared Davidson leads Seattle in scoring with 23 points (8G, 15A) through 13 games. The 20-year-old has recorded 14 points (4G, 13A) against the Rockets.
- The T-Birds recently made two trades to bolster their blue line, acquiring NHL prospects Nolan Allan and Luke Prokop. Allan was selected 32nd overall in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, while Prokop is a 2020 third-round pick of the Nashville Predators. Prokop was also a member of the 2022 Edmonton Oil Kings WHL championship team.
- Gracyn Sawchyn, the first overall pick in the WHL’s 2020 US Priority Draft, sits second in scoring among all WHL rookies. The 17-year-old has posted 19 points (5G, 14A) in 17 games this season.
Series at a glance
2022-23 Season Series vs SEA (0-1-0-0)
Watch and listen
Rockets games will be broadcast on 104.7 FM the Lizard this season with Regan Bartel calling all of the action.
Don’t forget to download the RocketFAN app and visit rocketfan.ca for more exclusive Rockets content from Pattison. Fans can stream the radio broadcast of all Rockets games on the app.
Click here to download RocketFAN on Google Play
Click here to download RocketFAN on the App Store
Online video stream
All Rockets games will be available on WHL Live on CHL TV. WHL Live on CHL TV is available to fans anywhere in the world, providing high-quality streaming of WHL games on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV platforms, via mobile with iOS and Android, and on web using Safari or Google Chrome web browsers. Visit watch.chl.ca for complete details and subscription options.
Mini Packs are now on sale for the 2022-23 season, pick from between a six or twelve-game pack. Click here to learn more about Mini Packs.