Rockets Hunt for 8th Divisional Title

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Photo credit: Marissa Baecker

The Kelowna Rockets get ready to host the Prince George Cougars on Wednesday night at Prospera Place.

The Rockets currently hold a record of 40-22-5-2 giving them 87 points, and placing them in first in the B.C. Division. If the Rockets win tomorrow against the Cougars, they can clinch their 8th divisional title in franchise history.

The first divisional title Kelowna claimed came back in the 2000-01 WHL season when the Rockets posted a 37-23-5-0 record for 86 points to capture the West Division title. The West Division was one of three divisions in the WHL, and it consisted of the Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Kamloops Blazers, Portland Winterhawks, Spokane Chiefs, Tri-City Americans, and Seattle Thunderbirds. The next season the WHL switched to the four division format used now, implementing the B.C. Division and the U.S. Division, and removing the West Division.

The first B.C. Division title the Rockets captured was in the 2002-03 WHL season when Kelowna boasted a 51-14-1-0 record for a whopping 109 points. They went on to win the WHL Championship (then called the President’s Cup) defeating the Red Deer Rebels in six games.

Kelowna took the B.C. Division by storm again the next season in 2003-04, posting a 47-21-0-0 record for an impressive 98 points. Though they were eliminated in game seven of the Conference Finals by the Everett Silvertips, the Rockets went on to win the 2004 Memorial Cup as the host team at Prospera Place.

Kelowna didn’t take the divisional title again until the 2010-11 WHL season when the Rockets had a 43-28-0-1 record that gave them 87 points. The Rockets fell in the second round of playoffs that season to the Portland Winterhawks.

In 2012-13 Kelowna was back again, posting a 52-16-3-1 record for 108 points to capture the B.C. title once again. They fell in the second round to the Kamloops Blazers.

The next season, 2013-14, the Rockets had their best regular season in franchise history boasting an incredible 57-11-0-4 record for an astounding 118 points. Kelowna fell in the Conference Final to the Portland Winterhawks.

The following year made it three straight seasons that the Rockets were head of the B.C. Division. They posted a 53-13-5-1 record for a massive 112 points, and went on to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup, sweeping the Brandon Wheat Kings in four games in the final. Kelowna went on to fall 2-1 in overtime of the Memorial Cup Final to the Oshawa Generals.

Last season the Rockets were only one point behind the Prince George Cougars for the B.C. Division title. This season they hold a three point lead over the Victoria Royals for first in the B.C. Division. The Royals have a 39-25-4-2 record giving them 84 points, but they have only two games remaining. The Rockets have three games remaining.

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