DUBNetwork Feature Game of the Night: November 8, 2019 Medicine Hat Tigers 11-5-1-0 @
Kelowna Rockets 9-5-1-1 7:00PM (MDT)
In a battle of two very similar teams the Medicine Hat Tigers travel to face off with this year’s Memorial Cup host, the Kelowna Rockets. Separated by only three points in the overall standings, the Tigers and the Rockets have had very similar seasons. Both teams have played 17 games so far this season and both have been led offensively by their respected captains.
Both James Hamblin for the Tigers and Nolan Foote of the Rockets are producing at more than a point a game pace so far this season. Also hot to start the season has been the play of both teams’ power plays. The Tigers are currently operating at 24.29% while the Rockets are even more lethal at 26.39%.
Tigers rookie forward Cole Sillinger has been one of the nice surprises this season for the Tigers. The Western Hockey League announced earlier this month that Sillinger was named WHL Rookie of the Month for September and October 2019. Taken by the Tigers in the first round of the 2018 WHL draft, Sillinger is second only to Kelowna’s Pavel Novak in points so far
this season. Sillinger has 17 points, including eight goals in 14 games. Sillinger is currently away from the Tigers as he was named to Team Canada White for the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge take place right now in Medicine Hat, Alberta and Swift Current, Saskatchewan, until the end of this weekend. Tigers’ captain James Hamblin has led the offence this season.
Collecting 22 points in 17 games has the overage centre in the top 10 in league scoring. Drafted in the first round of the WHL Bantam draft by the Tigers in 2014, the Edmonton, AB, native has played in 278 games all with the Tigers. Last season was Hamblin’s best, as he set career highs in all offensive categories including scoring 33 times and adding 44 assists. Fellow first round WHL Draft pick Ryan Chyzowski is also off to a fast start this season. Drafted in 2015, Chyzowski has ten goals and 20 points in the Tigers’ 17 games. Last season, Chyzowski also set career highs in goals with 27 and points with 55. Chyzowski is set to represent the Tigers as a member of Team WHL at the upcoming Canada Russia series next week.
After coming over last season from the Edmonton Oil Kings, forward Brett Kemp has picked up right from where he left off. Kemp who put up 60 points between Edmonton and Medicine Hat sits one point behind Hamblin for the team lead in points with 21 in 17 games. Kemp has only scored four times but has assisted on 17 of the Tigers goals. Daniel Baker
leads the Tigers defence in scoring with five goals and 12 points in 17 games.
The B.C. Division leading Kelowna Rockets are being led by a familiar name to fans of the Rockets. Earlier this season the Rockets named Foote the 25th captain in Rockets franchise history. Foote’s older brother Cal Foote, was the 23rd captain in franchise history. Nolan, the 27th-overall selection of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2019 NHL Draft, leads the Rockets in scoring with nine goals and 22 points through 15 games this season. Brother Cal was also drafted by the Lightning, Cal was selected in the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft with the 14th overall pick. Another Foote is with the Rockets as well as Nolan and Cal’s father, Adam, serves as the Rockets’ Head coach. Nolan will be attending the Canada Russia series next week and will serve as an alternate captain for Team WHL.
The Rockets will be represented by a trio of players, a league-high. Kaedan Korczak and Dillon Hamaliuk will join Foote on Team WHL. Rookie import forward Pavel Novak has had a nice start to his WHL career. A Tabor, Czech Republic, native Novak leads all WHL rookie players in scoring this season with 20 points including 10 goals in 16 games. The 20 points are also good for second in team scoring on the Rockets. Another player on Kelowna that has a family in the WHL, Kaedan Korczak leads the Rockets on defence. Kaedan’s younger brother Ryder Korczak, is currently leading the Moose Jaw Warriors in scoring with 24 points in 15 games.
The 24 points has already surpassed Ryder’s previous career high. As for Kaedan, the third year defenceman has produced 11 points in 16 games to lead the Rockets defence core. Kelowna has made a couple of roster moves earlier this week as they have added 20-year-old forward Kobe Mohr to
the roster. Mohr will be departing the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons, where he had 11 points in eight games, to join the Rockets. In another move the Rockets reassigned goaltender James Porter to the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL. Porter, had suited up in 73 games for Kelowna over the last two seasons, collecting a record of 30-22-7-2 with 3.29 GAA and a .897 SAV%.
Expected in goal:
Mads Sogaard (Medicine Hat) appearing in 12 games this season with the Tigers, Sogaard has six wins including a 2.62GAA and .910SAV% including one shut-out. The Ottawa Senators second round 2019 NHL Draft pick played in 37 games last season his first in the WHL. After being drafted 32nd in the WHL import draft, Sogaard collected 19 wins and had a 2.64GAA and .921SAV% including 3 shut-outs in 37 games.
Cole Schwebius (Kelowna) – In his first year with the Kelowna Rockets, Schwebius has appeared in four games thus far. Collecting two wins and posting a 2.09GAA and a .919SAV% in those games. Last season the Kelowna native played for the Seattle Thunderbirds where he appeared in 17 games, winning only five and posting a 3.89GAA and .886SAV%.
Also in action:
Winnipeg ICE @Moose Jaw Warriors 7pm CST
–Atley Calvert, a 2003-born right wing, will make his WHL debut tonight at Mosaic Place.
Brandon Wheat Kings @Prince Albert Raiders 7pm CST
-Could we see the return of Jiri Patera between the pipes for the Wheat Kings tonight? He has been out since October 6th.
Swift Current Broncos @Regina Pats 7pm CST
-Battle of the cellar in the Eastern Conference as the Broncos and Pats continue rebuilding.
Red Deer Rebels @Saskatoon Blades 7pm CST
-Right after acquiring former first round Bantam Draft pick Ben King, the Rebels head over and battle the Blades who will have Matej Toman making his debut as well.
Tri-City Americans @Calgary Hitmen 7pm MST
–Carson Focht takes on his former club as the Americans start their three-game road trip through Alberta.
Edmonton Oil Kings @Lethbridge Hurricanes 7pm MST
–Oliver Okuliar is on a tear for the Hurricanes. He has a nine-game point streak, during which he has scored 11 of his WHL-leading 15 goals.
Victoria Royals @Prince George Cougars 7pm PST
-Big news this week for the Cougars who get their leading scorer from last season, Vladislav Mikhalchuk back in the fold. Having him back gives the Cougars their top-five scorers back from last season.
Everett Silvertips @Spokane Chiefs 7:05pm PST
-The injury-plagued Silvertips head back to Spokane and try to go 3-0 on the road against the Chiefs this season.
Kamloops Blazers @Seattle Thunderbirds 7:35pm PST
–Dylan Garand has been a solid presence in net for the Blazers. He sports a 2.03GAA and .931SAV%.
Portland Winterhawks @Vancouver Giants 7:35pm PST
-The Winterhawks won all four match ups last season and the lone one so far this season. They start a home-and-home with the Giants tonight in Langley. Seth Jarvis has a six-game point streak currently.