The Kelowna Rockets are set to do battle with the Vancouver Giants tomorrow night at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C.
According to Assistant Coach Travis Crickard, how the Rockets start the game will play a key factor.
“In Vancouver the first ten minutes are crucial. We have the opportunity in the first ten minutes to demoralize them of the notion that they can beat or play with us,” said Crickard. “Or we can allow them to play with us and as the game goes on their belief that they can play with us and beat us starts to grow. Those games then become risky. We play them six more times, and because their team is so young, I feel like every time we play them the game is dependent on the first ten minutes.”
Though the Giants don’t have the strongest record through the first half of the season, Video Coach Adam Brown says that doesn’t change any preparation on the Rockets behalf.
“We try to really establish throughout the year that there is a certain way that we play the game. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing or what their record is,” Brown said. “We take care of the way that we want to play, we make sure we execute our game plan properly, and let things take care of themselves without worrying about what team it is we’re playing.”
The Rockets are 2-0-0-0 so far this year against their divisional rival to the West.
Kelowna is coming off of a 3-2 overtime loss to Moose Jaw on Wednesday night at home.
The Giants played another B.C. division rival, the Victoria Royals, on Tuesday. The Giants lost that game 3-0.
The Rockets head into Friday night with a 26-16-4-0 record that puts them in third place in the B.C. division.
Kelowna currently has 56 points. That is one point shy of the Kamloops Blazers who sit second, and 12 points back of the division leading Prince George Cougars.
The Giants enter Friday night with a 16-26-1-2 record that puts them in the fifth and final position in the B.C. division.
The Rockets are right back in action on Saturday night when they come back home to host the Portland Winterhawks at Prospera Place.