The Kelowna Rockets hit the ice against another divisional rival tomorrow when the Victoria Royals visit Prospera Place.
Assistant coach Kris Mallette says that discipline is the key to winning games in a close division.
“The biggest thing is to stay true to our systems; Just get back to what makes us successful, and that’s getting pucks to the net with traffic, and playing with good discipline,” said Mallette. “I thought our discipline last night got out of hand. We took six minor penalties, that’s going to wear on a line up that’s a little depleted right now.”
The Rockets are coming off of a two game mini series with the Kamloops Blazers in which they traded wins at home. Mallette says the team has to be excited every night, but especially in divisional matchups.
“They have to get excited for everything. Our division is extremely tight right now. We’re two points up on Kamloops, and only six points back from Prince George so it’s close. You have to win, and make sure you’re perfect every night.”
The Rockets are 1-1-0-0 against the Royals this season.
Both games were high scoring affairs with each team taking a win on home ice. The Rockets took the first game 6-4 back on October 26th. Kole Lind posted three points that night (1G, 2A). The Royals then hosted the Rockets on November 22nd where they topped the Rockets with a 6-2 victory.
The two will meet up to face one another four more times this season, including back to back games in Victoria January 11th, and 13th.
The Rockets come into Friday’s game 23-13-2-0 on the season, putting them in second place in the B.C. division with 48 points, only six points back of the division leaders the Prince George Cougars who have 54 points.
The Royals meanwhile enter the game with a 19-15-4-0 record, sitting fourth in the B.C. division with 42 points.
Kelowna will be without forwards Dillon Dube, Tomas Soustal, and Calvin Thurkauf as they are away at the World Junior’s until the New Year.
The Rockets next home game following Friday will be January 4th when they host the Spokane Chiefs at Prospera Place.