Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Preview: Victoria at Kelowna, Wed.Feb.25.2015

The Victoria Royals (33-23-3-1, 70 pts) visit the top team in the WHL, the Kelowna Rockets (46-10-3-1, 96 pts) Wednesday night on a 2 game BC Division road swing.

It’s their 3rd straight meeting, all in a span of 6 days and 4th meeting in 13 days.

Pregame show at 6:40, puck drop at 7pm on The Zone @ 91.3 FM, or online: cjzn.streamon.fm

The Royals earned a split against the Rockets Saturday with a 5-2 win at home.  Logan Fisher had 4 assists, and Taylor Crunk two goals while Justin Paulic made 31 saves for the victory.  They snapped Kelowna’s 4 game win streak.

Victoria fell 3-2 on the Friday night, and 7-3 one week earlier on the road.

The Royals are .500 on the road (14-14-0-1) with 2 straight wins, while the Rockets are on a 7 game home win streak, 16 over .500 record (22-6-1-0).

Victoria now has two wins in six games against Kelowna, and will look for their first victory at Prospera Place this season.

The Royals have 7 wins in their past 10 and sit 2nd in the BC Division, 26 points back of the #2 team in the CHL Rockets.  Kelowna has 8 wins in their past 10, have clinched the Division, and are first in the league with a 2 point lead on Brandon.

Victoria owns the 5th best power play, have scored the 7th most goals for on average per game while allowing the 6th fewest.

The Rockets are first in power play efficiency, scored the 2nd most goals on average per game, while allowing the fewest in the league.  They are without their number 1 goaltender Jackson Whistle (appendix).

Kelowna and Victoria are both in the top 5 in penalty minutes taken on average per game in the league.

MILESTONE MAN: Including playoffs, Royals’ Head Coach Dave Lowry will coach his 300th Western Hockey League game tonight against the Kelowna Rockets. Lowry has been the head coach of two WHL teams, including the Royals (2012-present) and Calgary Hitmen (2008-09). Lowry’s record as a head coach stands at 171-78-9-8 in 266 regular season games. The Royals’ skipper holds a playoff record of 21-10-2 in 33 post-season contests for the Royals and Hitmen.

The Royals are led in scoring by Austin Carroll’s 69 points, including 34 goals and a league high 15 power play markers.  Carroll is a 7th round pick of the Calgary Flames.

Joe Hicketts (Signed DET) is tied for first in defenseman scoring with Calgary’s Travis Sanheim with 55 points.  Hicketts leads all rearguards in assists with 46.

Travis Brown is 3rd in defenseman scoring with 53 points and and leads all defenders in goals with 17.  Rockets Madison Bowey (WASH) is 5th with 49.  Josh Morrissey is 4th in goals among rearguards.

Tyler Soy is ranked 152nd by NHL Central Scouting and has 54 points in 57 games including 24 goals.

Victoria’s Brandon Magee (F/A CGY) is on a 4 game streak with 5 points (1g 4a).

Kelowna is led in scoring by Nick Merkely with 79 points in 60 games, including 62 assists, the 2nd most in the league.  His 79 points is 5th best in the league, and he’s ranked 13th among North American skaters by NHL CSS.

Rourke Chartier (5th rd SJ ’14) is 6th in league scoring with 78 points, including 46 goals which he holds the league lead with Cole Sanford of the Tigers.

Tyson Baillie (F/A SJ) is on an 8 game assist streak with 12 points.  Josh Morrissey (13th overall WPG) is riding an 11 game streak with 12 points, and has 17 points in 18 games since being acquired from the Raiders.

Morrissey, Bowey and Hicketts all won Gold at the World Juniors for Team Canada.  Head Coach Dave Lowry served as an assistant coach for the country.

Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers 3rd overall pick has 34 points in 20 games since returning from the NHL where he had 9 points in 37 contests.

After Kelowna, Victoria visits Kamloops for an 8th and final regular season meeting Friday.  The Royals have a winning record against the Blazers of (4-2-1-0).

They’ll be at home for a pair against the Seattle Thunderbirds (1-1) Monday and Tuesday.

- Marlon Martens

Victoria Royals vs Kelowna Rockets: Head To Head Stats Summary
Head to Head Record 2014-15 Regular SeasonVictoria 2-4-0-0Kelowna 4-1-1-0
Head to Head Record 2013-14 Regular SeasonVictoria 5-2-0-1Kelowna 3-4-0-1
Last 5 Years record between teamsVictoria 17-17-1-3Kelowna 21-13-2-2
Victoria vs. Kelowna Last 5 Years record at VictoriaVictoria 8-9-1-2Kelowna 12-6-2-0
Victoria vs. Kelowna Last 5 Years record at KelownaVictoria 9-8-0-1Kelowna 9-7-0-2
Previous Meetings This SeasonKelowna 2 @ Victoria 5 (Feb 21 2015) Final
Kelowna 3 @ Victoria 2 (Feb 20 2015) Final
Victoria 3 @ Kelowna 7 (Feb 13 2015) Final
Kelowna 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 Record46-10-3-1 -- 96 points33-23-3-1 -- 70 points
Division Ranking1st B.C.2nd B.C.
Conference Ranking1st Western4th Western
League Ranking1st8th
Past 10 Games8-2-0-07-3-0-0
Last Game5-2 L @ Victoria (Feb 21 2015) Final5-2 W vs Kelowna (Feb 21 2015) Final
Home Record22-6-1-019-9-3-0
Away Record24-4-2-114-14-0-1
GF267 210 
GA152 184 
PP (Overall)(77/292) 26.4(58/259) 22.4
PP (Home)(36/140) 25.7(33/128) 25.8
PP (Away)(41/152) 27.0(25/131) 19.1
PK (Overall)(50/252) 80.2(53/254) 79.1
PK (Home)(22/120) 81.7(22/125) 82.4
PK (Away)(28/132) 78.8(31/129) 76.0
Leading RookieDube (15-9-24)Nagy (6-6-12)
Most PIMSoutham - 84Carroll - 110
Team PIM/GM14.7/Game14.5/Game
Leading ScorersMerkley (17-62-79)Carroll (34-35-69)
Chartier (46-32-78)Hicketts (9-46-55)
Baillie (34-32-66)Soy (24-30-54)
Kirkland (21-30-51)Brown (17-36-53)
Bowey (14-35-49)Chase (17-34-51)
Last 5 Games5-2 L @ Victoria (Feb 21 2015) Final5-2 W vs Kelowna (Feb 21 2015) Final
3-2 W @ Victoria (Feb 20 2015) Final3-2 L vs Kelowna (Feb 20 2015) Final
11-4 W vs Kamloops (Feb 18 2015) Final4-3 L vs Moose Jaw (Feb 17 2015) Final
6-0 W vs Moose Jaw (Feb 14 2015) Final6-3 W @ Seattle (Feb 15 2015) Final
7-3 W vs Victoria (Feb 13 2015) Final5-2 W @ Kamloops (Feb 14 2015) Final
Leading After 1st28-2-2-117-3-0-0
Leading After 2nd35-1-2-022-2-0-0
Tied After 1st15-4-1-010-7-0-1
Tied After 2nd6-2-1-17-3-2-0
Trailing After 1st3-4-0-06-13-3-0
Trailing After 2nd5-7-0-04-18-1-1
Out Shooting Opponents31-6-0-120-7-1-0
Out Shot by Opponents13-4-3-012-14-2-1
1-Goal Games9-3-3-112-9-3-1
2-Goal Games13-3-0-05-6-0-0
3-Goal Games7-4-0-08-3-0-0