Kelowna Rockets (13-10-0-0) at Victoria Royals (13-9-2-0)
Tuesday, Nov. 22 – 7 p.m. (Pacific) – Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena
Channels: Local Shaw SD; Shaw HD304
The battle for the B.C. Division carries on Tuesday night (7pm Pacific) as the Kelowna Rockets visit the Victoria Royals on the WHL on Shaw.
Only three points separate the middle of the pack in the B.C. Division after the Rockets beat up on the Royals by a 5-1 margin Sunday night, setting the stage for what should be a doozy Tuesday evening.
Rockets captain Rodney Southam tallied twice in the contest, while Michael Herringer kicked out 25 pucks to help backstop Kelowna to a key divisional victory. As it stands, the Kamloops Blazers (14-10-1-0) hold down second place in the B.C. Division with 29 points, while the Royals (13-9-2-0) cling to third place with 28 points. Having won two consecutive outings, the Rockets (13-10-0-0) remain only two points back of the Royals.
Victoria laid claim to a massive win Saturday night, knocking off the previously undefeated-in-regulation Regina Pats by a 5-3 final. The momentum didn’t carry over to Sunday as the Rockets took off early by scoring four times in the first period.
Kole Lind was recently named a ‘B’ prospect on NHL Central Scouting’s ‘Players to Watch’ list in anticipation of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. With 25 points (11G-14A) in 23 games, it’s easy to see why scouts have taken notice of 6-foot-1, 173-pound product of Shaunavon, Sask.
For the Royals, Jack Walker and Tyler Soy lead the scoring parade.
Walker, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound product of Edina, Minn., and prospect of the Toronto Maple Leafs (sixth round, 152nd, 2016) has 25 points (12G-13A) through 22 games. As for the 6-foot, 171-pound Soy, a product of Cloverdale, B.C., and Anaheim Ducks’ prospect (seventh round, 205th, 2016), he has tallied 25 points (12G-13A) of his own through 21 games.
Between the pipes, Herringer has carried the bulk of the load for the Rockets, appearing in 18 games, managing a record of 11-7-0-0 with a 2.93 goals-against average, .908 save percentage and one shutout.
For the Royals, Griffen Outhouse has been the workhorse in 2016-17, taking to the crease for 21 appearances, collecting a record of 13-7-1-0 with a 2.53 GAA, .922 SV% and one shutout.
Tuesday marks the third of eight meetings between the Royals and Rockets this season.
The Rockets have laid claim to wins in both outings thus far, including a 6-4 triumph back on Oct. 26 at Prospera Place in Kelowna. Lind fired up a four-point night with a goal and three assists, while Southam had another two-goal effort. The Rockets were also fueled by a two-goal performance from import forward Calvin Thurkauf.
Head coach: Dave Lowry
Scoring leaders: LW Jack Walker (12-13-25); C Tyler Soy (12-13-25); C Dante Hannoun (10-14-24)
Goaltending leader: Griffen Outhouse (13-7-1-0, 2.53 GAA, .922 SV%, 1 SO)
Power play: 15th – 18.8 per cent
Penalty kill: Sixth – 81.9 per cent
Head coach: Jason Smith
Scoring leaders: RW Kole Lind (11-14-25); C Tomas Soustal (10-11-21); LW Calvin Thurkauf (9-11-20)
Goaltending leader: Michael Herringer (11-7-0-0, 2.93 GAA, .908 SV%, 1 SO)
Power play: Eighth – 23.0 per cent
Penalty kill: T-14th – 77.4 per cent
Injuries: D Gordie Ballhorn (upper body, day to day); F Riley Stadel (lower body, three weeks)
Oct. 26 – Victoria (4) at Kelowna (6)
Nov. 20 – Kelowna (5) at Victoria (1)
Nov. 22 – Kelowna at Victoria
Dec. 30 – Victoria at Kelowna
Jan. 11 – Kelowna at Victoria
Jan. 13 – Kelowna at Victoria
March 7 – Victoria at Kelowna
March 11 – Victoria at Kelowna
WHL on Shaw schedule
Friday, Nov. 25 – Brandon Wheat Kings at Saskatoon Blades – 7pm local
Tuesday, Nov. 29 – Prince Albert Raiders at Medicine Hat Tigers – 7pm local
Friday, Dec. 2 – Brandon Wheat Kings at Vancouver Giants – 7pm local