The Kelowna Rockets get set to host the Calgary Hitmen on Friday night at Prospera Place (puck drop at 7:05pm) for their first Central Division meeting of the season before they hit the highway for three road games in four nights.
“We talked to the guys earlier this week to make sure they’re catching up on rest as well as making sure they’re eating and keeping hydrated,” said Head Coach Jason Smith on preparing his team for a tough five night schedule. “When you go through a stretch of four games in five nights it’s physically wearing but more importantly you have to stay sharp mentally. Taking care of yourself away from the rink is the most important part of that.”
The Rockets are coming off of back-to-back overtime wins over Prince George on Friday and Saturday. On Friday the Rockets came back from a 5-3 deficit to win 7-6 in overtime, and on Saturday the club tied the game 3-3 with just over a minute and a half to go, and went on to win 4-3 in overtime.
“On Friday night I thought we played really well, and on Saturday we had lots of room for improvement,” Said Smith. “We showed good battle and compete to come back after being down but it comes down to playing within our systems to get us the results we want within 60 minutes.”
Following the game on Friday night the Rockets will hit the road en route to Portland for back-to-back meetings with the Winterhawks at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday and Sunday night. Puck drop on Saturday night is at 6:00pm and puck drop on Sunday is at 5:00pm. The Rockets will then make the short trip to Kennewick, WA for a visit with the Tri-City Americans at the Toyota Center on Tuesday night to close out the three game road trip. Puck drop on Tuesday is at 7:05pm.
Kelowna enters Friday night with a record of 4-1-0-1 placing them second in the B.C. Division with nine points, one ahead of the Prince George Cougars who sit third.
The Hitmen come into Friday night with a record of 2-5-1-0 giving them five points tying them for fifth in the Central Division.
As of Thursday the Winterhawks hold a record of 6-1-0-0 placing them atop the U.S. Division with 12 points. The Tri-City Americans sit tied for third in that division with a record of 4-4-0-0 for eight points heading into the weekend.
The Rockets are at home again on Friday, October 20th, and again on Saturday, October 21st, when they host the Portland Winterhawks on back-to-back nights at Prospera Place.