Rockets face big test
The Kelowna Rockets will wrap up a three game road trip when they take on the Everett Silvertips on Friday night.
The Rockets dropped the first two games of the trip to the Prince George Cougars. Rockets Assistant Coach Travis Crickard says it comes down to the teams willingness to compete.
"It's an interesting thing really," Crickard says. "Don't compete whatsoever on Tuesday and don't get a favourable result. Compete on Wednesday and still don't get a favourable result. Overall our compete level needs to be unconditional no matter the score or the opponent. We need to really give more attention to defending. We can't expect to give up 4-5 plus goals per night and believe that is a successful night of hockey. Great teams find a way to defend no matter how non sexy that might be."
This will be the fourth and final meeting between the clubs this season. The Rockets hosted the Silvertips at Prospera Place back on September 29th. Cal Foote and Libor Zabransky each had a goal and an assist, but it wasn't enough, as Patrick Bajkov and Matt Fonteyne scored in a shootout to give Everett a 4-3 edge over Kelowna. The teams didn't see each other again until a February 2nd and 3rd home-and-home doubleheader. The first game in the doubleheader was at Prospera Place. Everett had a 3-0 lead in the third period before Kyle Topping and Carsen Twarynski got the Rockets to within one. The Tips held on for the 3-2 victory. The next night in Everett Patrick Bajkov put up five points (3G, 2A) to the lead the Silvertips to an 8-2 rout of the Rockets. Kelowna Captain Cal Foote recorded both Rockets goals. Friday night's tilt in Everett will be the final time the teams meet in the regular season.
The Rockets come into the game with a 38-20-4-2 record giving them 82 points, placing them first in the B.C. Division. The Victoria Royals trail the Rockets by seven points. The Vancouver Giants are third in the division with 73 points.
Everett comes into the matchup with a 41-18-2-3 record good for 87 points, and first place in the U.S. Division. The Portland Winterhawks sit seven points back in second place and the Spokane Chiefs are in third with 77 points.
The Silvertips sit first in the Western Conference, ahead of the Rockets by five points.
Puck drop on Friday is at 7:35pm.
The Rockets are back home on Saturday to take on Dan Lambert and the Spokane Chiefs at 7:05pm.