Thursday, 12 February 2015

Preview: Victoria at Kelowna, Friday Feb.13.2015

The Victoria Royals (30-20-3-1, 64pts) kick off 3 games in 3 nights on the road Friday against Kelowna Rockets (42-9-3-1, 88pts), the # 2 ranked club in the CHL.

Pregame show at 6:40 on The Zone @ 91.4 fm or online at

Both clubs have 8 wins in their past 10.

It’s just their 4th of 8 meetings so far this season, with the Rockets winning 2 of 3 contests.  The Royals earned a home split back in November with a 4-3 overtime win, followed by a 5-3 loss.  They were defeated 5-1 in Kelowna earlier in that month.

It’s the first time the clubs have meet since the Rockets acquired Oilers first round pick Leon Draisaitl (3rd overall), and the Jets first rounder, defenseman Josh Morrissey (13th overall).

Kelowna’s Morrissey and Madison Bowey along with Royals Joe Hicketts all won Gold at the World Juniors for Team Canada.

Victoria is riding a 4 game win streak after a 2-1 defeat of Edmonton Monday afternoon.

The Royals got goals from Jack Palmer, and Austin Carroll the game winner, while Justin Paulic made 34 saves.  Victoria improves to (13-3-1-0) since the Christmas Break, allowing the fewest goals against in the league in that span.  They remain 2nd in the BC Division and 4th in the West, 2 back of Portland and 2 up of Seattle.

Kelowna dropped a 2-1 decision in Seattle on Tuesday, snapping a 5 game win streak and points in 9 stretch (8-0-1).

Nick Merkley scored the clubs lone goal, while Matthew Barzal and Jerrett Smith on the power play got the winner for the T-birds.  Former Victoria netminder Micahel Herringer made 25 saves for his first loss in 6 games.  The Rockets went 0 for 6 on the power play and were without the injured Tyson Baillie, and netminder Jackson Whistle.  Forward Tomas Soustal was out serving a suspension TBD acquired against the Cougars.

Kelowna is 1st in the WHL, 1 point up on Brandon, who’s ranked 3rd in the CHL Top 10.

The Rockets have allowed the fewest goals against on average per game in the league, while scoring the 2nd most.  The power play is ranked 2nd, while the Royals are 6th best with the man advantage.

Kelowna is led in scoring by Top Prospect, Nick Merkley, rated 13th among North American skaters for the upcoming draft by NHL Central Scouting.  Merkley has 75 points and a team leading 57 assists.  Rourke Chartier, a 5th round selection of the San Jose Sharks is tied for the most goals in the league with 44, he’s second in club scoring with 73 points.  Merkley and Chartier are 3rd and 4th in league scoring respectively.

The Rockets have 6 players scoring at a point per game or better, the Royals have 4.

Victoria is led by Austin Carroll’s 60 points, including 29 goals.  Joe Hicketts is on a 6 game assist streak (6a) and has 49 points.  Defenseman Travis Brown and Tyler Soy have 48 points a piece.  Soy is ranked 152nd by NHL CSS, while reargaurd Chaz Reddekopp is 199th.

At home the Rockets are 13 over .500 (19-6-1-0), while the Royals have a chance to get back .500 on the road with a record of (12-13-0-1).

After Kelowna, Victoria plays in Kamloops Saturday and Seattle Sunday at 5pm before returning home for Hockey Hookey day Tuesday, with a 12:00 noon start against Moose Jaw.

- Marlon Martens

Victoria Royals vs Kelowna Rockets: Head To Head Stats Summary
Head to Head Record 2014-15 Regular SeasonVictoria 1-2-0-0Kelowna 2-0-1-0
Head to Head Record 2013-14 Regular SeasonVictoria 5-2-0-1Kelowna 3-4-0-1
Last 5 Years record between teamsVictoria 16-15-1-3Kelowna 19-12-2-2
Victoria vs. Kelowna Last 5 Years record at VictoriaVictoria 7-8-1-2Kelowna 11-5-2-0
Victoria vs. Kelowna Last 5 Years record at KelownaVictoria 9-7-0-1Kelowna 8-7-0-2
Previous Meetings This SeasonKelowna 5 @ Victoria 3 (Nov 19 2014) Final
Kelowna 3 @ Victoria 4 (Nov 18 2014) Final OT
Victoria 1 @ Kelowna 5 (Nov 5 2014) Final

How the 2 teams match up
Team Record42-9-3-1 -- 88 points30-20-3-1 -- 64 points
Division Ranking1st B.C.2nd B.C.
Conference Ranking1st Western4th Western
League Ranking1st9th
Past 10 Games8-1-0-18-1-1-0
Last Game2-1 L @ Seattle (Feb 10 2015) Final2-1 W vs Edmonton (Feb 9 2015) Final
Home Record19-6-1-018-7-3-0
Away Record23-3-2-112-13-0-1
GF238 186 
GA138 163 
PP (Overall)(70/271) 25.8(52/234) 22.2
PP (Home)(32/128) 25.0(31/115) 27.0
PP (Away)(38/143) 26.6(21/119) 17.6
PK (Overall)(47/229) 79.5(46/226) 79.6
PK (Home)(21/107) 80.4(19/112) 83.0
PK (Away)(26/122) 78.7(27/114) 76.3
Leading RookieDube (14-5-19)Nagy (5-6-11)
Most PIMSoutham - 75Carroll - 93
Team PIM/GM14.7/Game14.4/Game
Leading ScorersMerkley (17-58-75)Carroll (29-31-60)
 Chartier (44-29-73)Hicketts (9-40-49)
 Baillie (32-27-59)Soy (20-28-48)
 Kirkland (21-29-50)Brown (16-32-48)
 Bowey (13-31-44)Chase (16-30-46)
Last 5 Games2-1 L @ Seattle (Feb 10 2015) Final2-1 W vs Edmonton (Feb 9 2015) Final
 5-2 W vs Prince George (Feb 9 2015) Final6-2 W vs Red Deer (Feb 7 2015) Final
 5-2 W @ Kamloops (Feb 7 2015) Final3-2 W @ Tri-City (Jan 31 2015) Final SO
 5-3 W vs Kamloops (Feb 6 2015) Final3-0 W @ Spokane (Jan 30 2015) Final
 5-1 W @ Kootenay (Jan 31 2015) Final4-3 L @ Portland (Jan 28 2015) Final
Leading After 1st25-2-2-116-3-0-0
Leading After 2nd32-1-2-020-1-0-0
Tied After 1st14-3-1-08-6-0-1
Tied After 2nd6-1-1-16-3-2-0
Trailing After 1st3-4-0-06-11-3-0
Trailing After 2nd4-7-0-04-16-1-1
Out Shooting Opponents28-6-0-117-6-1-0
Out Shot by Opponents13-3-3-012-13-2-1
1-Goal Games8-3-3-112-7-3-1
2-Goal Games13-3-0-05-6-0-0
3-Goal Games7-3-0-05-3-0-0