‘Canes vs. Rockets in 2014/15: 0-1-0-1
Last Meeting: December 10th/2014 – 4-3 Kelowna in shootout (in Lethbridge)
‘Canes Record: 12-29-3-3
‘Canes Home Record: 7-12-2-3
‘Canes Road Record: 5-17-1-0
Rockets Record: 37-8-3-1
Rockets Home Record: 17-6-1-0
Rockets Road Record: 20-2-2-1
‘Canes Leading Scorer: Tyler Wong (21G, 20A, 41P)
Rockets Leading Scorer: Nick Merkley (16G, 53A, 69P)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes play host to the high-flying Kelowna Rockets tonight in the final of three meetings between the two teams. Despite dropping both games to the Rockets this year, the ‘Canes have played them very tough having lost 4-2 in Kelowna on October 11th and 4-3 in a shootout December 10th in Lethbridge.
The Hurricanes are in the midst of one the busiest stretches of the season as tonight will be the fifth game in the last eight nights. The ‘Canes have won two of their last three games after picking up a 6-3 win over the Kootenay Ice on Wednesday night. Lethbridge has also won back-to-back home games for the first time this season.
The Rockets, who are currently ranked second in the country only behind the OHL’s Oshawa Generals, are coming off a rare blemish. Kelowna fell 2-1 in a shootout on Wednesday in Edmonton to the Oil Kings. It was the second game in a row that the Rockets had gone to a shootout. Tonight will be the third of a four game Central Division road trip for the Rockets.
Lethbridge Point of View
Home Ice = Advantage: For the first time all season the Lethbridge Hurricanes have won back-to-back home victories with wins over Prince George (7-4) and Kootenay (6-3). The ‘Canes are up seven home victories this season with the win on Wednesday – that matches the total of wins they had at the ENMAX Centre all of last year.
Burke Proving Critics Wrong: When former ‘Canes GM swung an early December trade with the Red Deer Rebels sending Riley Sheen (then the leading scorer of the ‘Canes) for Brayden Burke and Devan Fafard, the jury was still out on what Burke would bring in return. And through his first 16 games in a ‘Canes uniform he appears to be a hidden gem. The 17-year-old from Edmonton has picked up 17 points (3g-14a) with the ‘Canes and has also helped Giorgio Estephan and Tyler Wong take the next step in their development.
Kelowna Point of View
Purely Stacked: The Rockets currently sit second in the country and you don’t get there without a pretty deep roster. Among the all-star laden roster include NHL draft picks Madison Bowey, Josh Morrissey and Leon Draisaitl, among others. Having racked up 37 wins already (most in the WHL), it is safe to say the Rockets will be in the conversation with the Memorial Cup.
Another NHLer Comes to Town: On Wednesday, Sam Reinhart graced the ENMAX Centre’s presence with the Kootenay Ice. Reinhart, who went second overall in this last year’s NHL Entry Draft by Buffalo and started the season with the Sabres. By all accounts, Reinhart was good enough to play in the NHL this season. For the second straight home game, a player that is good enough to play in the NHL will be playing the ‘Canes. Tonight will likely be the last time you will ever see Leon Draisaitl suit up in Lethbridge. The big German, who was taken one spot after Reinhart, played the first 37 games of his season with the Edmonton Oilers before being sent back to junior and subsequently traded to Kelowna from Prince Albert.