The Kelowna Rockets will take to the road for the second last time in the regular season when they head to Washington to face the Western Conference leading Everett Silvertips tomorrow night.
The Silvertips are coming off of two losses to divisional opponents most likely making them that much hungrier for a win. Head Coach Jason Smith was asked what the Rockets need to do to weather that storm.
“We need to be ready to start the game! We need to continue to play with structure and we need to make sure we’re good at getting pucks out at our blueline,” said Smith. “That being said, we need to make sure we’re getting pucks in at their blueline as well. And the last thing is we need to make sure we’re capitalizing on our chances.”
Kelowna’s discipline has drastically improved from a few months ago, along with that has come an increase in the Rockets success. Smith says that came down to players controlling their emotions.
“Discipline plays a major role in success. Recently we’ve done a much better job at avoiding bad penalties and keeping our emotions in check,” Smith said.
Kelowna defeated the Prince George Cougars 5-1 last night. The win boosted the Rockets record to 38-21-5-0 helping make up some ground on the Cougars and the Kamloops Blazers. Kelowna is one point back of Kamloops for 2nd in the B.C. Division and four points back of Prince George for 1st place in the division. The Rockets hold a game in hand on both divisional opponents.
Meanwhile the Everett Silvertips are leading the charge in the Western Conference and the U.S. Division with a record of 38-14-8-2, translating to 86 points on this year’s campaign. The ‘Tips are 7-3-0-0 in their past 10 games but are on a mini two game losing streak going into Friday night’s tilt. Everett is neck and neck with Seattle who also has 86 points, but the Silvertips hold two games in hand.
Following their meeting with the Silvertips, the Rockets will have a quick turnaround as they head home for a
Saturday night match-up with the Tri-City Americans. That game marks the start of a six game home stand in the month of March.
The game Saturday March 4th against Tri-City will be the final meeting between the two squads, with puck drop going at 7:05PM.