Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Preview: Victoria at Kelowna, Wed.March.11.2015

The Victoria Royals (35-27-3-1, 74pts) visit the top team in the WHL, the Kelowna Rockets (50-11-4-1, 105pts) for an eight and final regular season meeting Wednesday.

Pregame show at 6:40 on The Zone @ 91.3fm or online at cjzn.streamon.fm

The Royals are looking for back to back road wins after a 4-3 shoot out victory against the Cougars Saturday night, earning a split in the two game set.

“It will be nice, going into a hard building to play coming off a win.” said Joe Hicketts on taking the momentum moving forward.

The Rockets are ranked #2 in the CHL, have won back to back games after a 5-2 home victory over the Chiefs Saturday and 5-2 against the Giants in Vancouver one night earlier.

They hit 50 wins for a 3rd consecutive season, and are only the fourth team in CHL history to accomplish the feat and only the third WHL team.  They join the Kamloops Blazers, Edmonton Oil Kings and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Saint Johns Ice Dogs as the only organizations to win 50 or more games in three consecutive seasons. The Rockets had 57 wins last season and 52 the year prior.

Victoria has holds a 2-5 record against Kelowna, most recently playing 3 straight against the Rockets in a span of 6 days with a 1-2 record.

They fell 4-2 in Kelowna Feb.25th, after knocking off the Rockets 5-2 on the Island on Feb.21st, Kelowna won 3-2 one night earlier.  Victoria’s other victory came at home by a 4-3 overtime score on November 18th.

The Royals have clinched home ice in the first round of the playoffs, earning the 2nd seed in the BC Division and would face the 3rd place Cougars if the playoffs started today.  Both clubs have 6 games remaining.

They’ll play their first two playoff home dates on March 27th, and 28th at the SOFMC.

The Rockets have clinched the West with 105 points, tied overall with the Wheat Kings in the East, but take top seeding having more wins and played 1 fewer game.

Kelowna has just 7 regulation losses in 32 home games this season (24-7-1-0).  Victoria is 2 under .500 on the road (15-17-0-1).

The Rockets are the stingiest team in the WHL, allowing the fewest goals against on average per game.  They’ve scored the 2nd most, while their power play is ranked 1st.

The Royals have scored the 7th most goals for, and their power play is ranked 6th.

In the 7 meetings this season, Kelowna has outscored Victoria 29-20.  The Royals power play is 7 for 31 (22.5%) in the set, while the Rockets are 10 for 28 (35.7%).

Leon Draisaitl has an 11 game point streak with 23 points.  Draisaitl has 43 points, including 16 goals, in 26 games since joining the Rockets from the Edmonton Oilers.

Kelowna was without WJ Gold Medal winning defenseman Josh Morrissey last game, as well as forwards Justin Kirkland, Gage Quinney and Rourke Chartier.

Nick Merkley leads the Rockets in scoring with 85 points including 67 assists.  Chartier is 2nd with 78 points and a team high 46 goals.

Jackson Whistle has the 2nd most wins by a netminder in the league with 32, has the 3rd best goals against average (2.46) and 5th best save percentage (0.913).

Austin Carroll leads the Royals in scoring with 72 points including 35 goals.  Carroll is only one assist away from reaching his 100th career assist in his WHL career. Throughout his career, the 20-year-old has notched 191 points (92g - 99a) in 263 games played.

Joe Hicketts is tied for the defenseman lead in scoring with 59 points.  Tyler Soy, ranked 152nd by NHL CSS is 3rd in team scoring with 57 points.

Victoria wraps up their 4 game BC Division road trip Friday night in Vancouver at 7:30 for the first of 3 in 3 days against the Giants.

- Marlon Martens

Victoria Royals vs Kelowna Rockets: Head To Head Stats Summary
Head to Head Record 2014-15 Regular SeasonVictoria 2-5-0-0Kelowna 5-1-1-0
Head to Head Record 2013-14 Regular SeasonVictoria 5-2-0-1Kelowna 3-4-0-1
Last 5 Years record between teamsVictoria 17-18-1-3Kelowna 22-13-2-2
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 9-9-0-1Kelowna 10-7-0-2
Previous Meetings This SeasonVictoria 2 @ Kelowna 4 (Feb 25 2015) Final
Kelowna 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 Record50-11-4-1 -- 105 points35-27-3-1 -- 74 points
Division Ranking1st B.C.2nd B.C.
Conference Ranking1st Western5th Western
League Ranking1st10th
Past 10 Games7-2-1-04-6-0-0
Last Game5-2 W vs Spokane (Mar 7 2015) Final4-3 W @ Prince George (Mar 7 2015) Final SO
Home Record24-7-1-020-10-3-0
Away Record26-4-3-115-17-0-1
GF288 225 
GA163 205 
PP (Overall)(84/317) 26.5(62/281) 22.1
PP (Home)(38/154) 24.7(34/134) 25.4
PP (Away)(46/163) 28.2(28/147) 19.0
PK (Overall)(53/270) 80.4(57/279) 79.6
PK (Home)(24/132) 81.8(23/132) 82.6
PK (Away)(29/138) 79.0(34/147) 76.9
Leading RookieDube (16-10-26)Nagy (6-7-13)
Most PIMSoutham - 89Carroll - 120
Team PIM/GM14.5/Game14.3/Game
Leading ScorersMerkley (18-67-85)Carroll (35-37-72)
 Chartier (46-32-78)Hicketts (11-48-59)
 Baillie (36-34-70)Soy (24-33-57)
 Bowey (15-40-55)Chase (20-35-55)
 Kirkland (21-30-51)Brown (18-36-54)
Last 5 Games5-2 W vs Spokane (Mar 7 2015) Final4-3 W @ Prince George (Mar 7 2015) Final SO
 5-2 W @ Vancouver (Mar 6 2015) Final4-3 L @ Prince George (Mar 6 2015) Final
 3-2 L @ Everett (Mar 3 2015) Final OT4-1 L vs Seattle (Mar 3 2015) Final
 2-1 L vs Calgary (Feb 28 2015) Final3-2 W vs Seattle (Mar 2 2015) Final SO
 4-0 W @ Vancouver (Feb 27 2015) Final4-2 L @ Kamloops (Feb 27 2015) Final
Leading After 1st29-3-3-119-5-0-0
Leading After 2nd37-1-3-023-3-0-0
Tied After 1st16-4-1-010-8-0-1
Tied After 2nd8-3-1-18-5-2-0
Trailing After 1st5-4-0-06-14-3-0
Trailing After 2nd5-7-0-04-19-1-1
Out Shooting Opponents34-7-1-121-8-1-0
Out Shot by Opponents14-4-3-013-16-2-1
1-Goal Games9-4-4-114-10-3-1
2-Goal Games14-3-0-05-8-0-0
3-Goal Games9-4-0-08-4-0-0