‘Canes vs. Rockets in 2014/15: 0-1-0-0
Last Meeting: October 11th/2014 – 4-2 Rockets (in Kelowna)
‘Canes Record: 6-19-3-1
‘Canes Home Record: 3-8-2-1
‘Canes Road Record: 3-11-1-0
Rockets Record: 24-4-3-0
Rockets Home Record: 11-3-1-0
Rockets Road Record: 13-1-2-0
‘Canes Leading Scorer: Zane Jones (13G, 7A, 20P) and Tyler Wong (9G, 11A, 20P)
Rockets Leading Scorer: Rourke Chartier (32G, 19A, 51P) and Nick Merkley (10G, 41A, 51P)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes play the second of a three-game home stand tonight as they welcome the Kelowna Rockets to the ENMAX Centre in the first of two visits in the next month and a half for the powerhouse from the Okanagan.
The Hurricanes are coming off a strong effort on Saturday against the Red Deer Rebels despite dropping a 4-2 decision. The Hurricanes had great scoring chances through the first two periods but could not beat Rylan Toth or the goal post and found themselves down by a 3-0 count. The ‘Canes scored two goals to make it 3-2 with under eight minutes left in the game, but an empty net goal by Brooks Maxwell sealed their fate.
Lethbridge enters action tonight sitting last place in the Western Hockey League standings with a 6-19-3-1 record, while the Rockets sit atop the league with an impressive 24-4-3-0 record. Despite sitting first in the WHL, Kelowna has been a modest 5-3-2-0 in their last ten games, but enter play tonight having blanked the Prince Albert Raiders by a 1-0 score on Saturday night.
Lethbridge Point of View
New Leaf: The Hurricanes announced Tuesday that head coach Drake Berehowsky had been relieved of his duties effective immediately. The Hurricanes will begin life without their head coach who was in his second season with the club. It is expected that Bryan Maxwell and Mike Craig will run the bench tonight.
The Response: When an organization fires a coach, the team response will usually go one of two ways. 1) The team will drop a dud and not show up = much like what we saw a few weeks ago when Vancouver was in town. OR 2) The team will show up and play their best game of the season……. For the ‘Canes players, it has to be #2 as wins are desperately needed right now.
Chance After Chance: While dropping a 4-2 decision on Saturday to Red Deer, the Hurricanes didn’t lose the game for lack of scoring chances. The ‘Canes had arguably 10-15 high quality scoring chances from Jamal Watson and Zane Jones breakaway misses, to two goal posts for the Captain. The chances are being created, once they start burying, goals will be coming fast and furious.
Kelowna Point of View
Merk-Attack: As Nick Merkley goes, so do the Kelowna Rockets. Well, yes and no. In the five games this season that Merkley hasn’t recorded a point, the Rockets are an avergae 2-2-1-0. The 17-year-old who had a terrific 25 goal, 58 point rookie campaign as a 16-year-old last year is already only seven points shy of breaking last years point total in nearly half the amount of games. He is also ranked #22 for the upcoming NHL draft by International Scouting Service.
Chartier=Goals: After a 24 goal year last season to see him get selected in the fifth round by the San Jose Sharks, Rourke Chartier is proving that the Sharks may have found a hidden gem. The third year Rocket already has 32 goals this season in just 30 games. He is the fastest player in Rockets history to hit the 30-goal plateau completing the feat in just 28 games; two games faster than Brett McLean, eight games faster than Jamie Benn, and 11 games faster than Chuck Kobasew. And he is only 18-years-old.
Better on the Road: The Rockets are having a tremendous start to the season currently sitting first in the WHL with a record of 24-4-3-0. Usually teams are better at home than on the road, but for the Rockets it’s the opposite. While an impressive 11-3-1-0 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, the Rockets have a league-best road record at 13-1-2-0 away from home picking up 28 of a possible 32 points.