Rockets face playoff bound Giants
The Kelowna Rockets prepare to take on their divisional rival the Vancouver Giants on another Hat-Trick Wednesday at Prospera Place.
Having dropped their last four outings, the Rockets are looking to get back on track when they host the Giants on Wednesday night. Assistant Coach Travis Crickard believes the team needs to move forward, but they can't forget what they learned.
"It's not necessarily starting fresh, it's more of learning from what transpired over the last four games and using what we've learned to improve our game," said Crickard. "Right now there are a lot of minor issues that are getting us poor results. Examples of that are laziness, skating straight legged, not playing a team game, and accountability. Unfortunately, in a team environment those things won't lead to successful hockey."
This will be the sixth of eight meetings between the two clubs. The first time they met was on November 10th when Carsen Twarynski was the overtime hero in a 5-4 OT victory on home ice. They met again eight days later in Langley but things went the other way for Kelowna, as Tyler Benson recorded two goals and an assist in a 6-1 thwart of the Rockets. Just six days after that Kelowna returned to Langley to face the Giants and earned redemption as Captain Cal Foote earned two helpers in a 3-2 win. The Rockets and Giants didn't face off again until January 13th again in Langley, but this time it was James Malm pulling through for Vancouver notching a goal and an assist in a 3-2 victory for the Giants. The most recent match was on February 7th in Kelowna when the Rockets enjoyed multi-point nights from Kole Lind(1G, 1A), Carsen Twarynski(1G, 1A), and Kyle Topping(2A) en route to a 4-1 win. Following Wednesday these two don't meet again until Friday March 16th and Saturday March 17th for a home-and-home to close out the regular season starting in Langley.
Crickard says his team needs to create traffic in front of Vancouver's netminder, who always seems to play well here.
"It seems as of late, their goaltender has had some strong outings against us, so the key to making him uncomfortable will be driving the mid-lane on entries, and getting traffic around him to force him to have to look for the puck rather than being able to see the puck," Crickard said.
Kelowna enters Wednesday with a record of 38-22-4-2 and they currently sit in first place in the B.C. Division with 82 points, four points ahead of the second place Victoria Royals, and seven points ahead of the third place Vancouver Giants. The Giants come into Wednesday with a 33-23-6-3 record.
The Rockets are currently third place in the Western Conference with 82 points behind only the Everett Silvertips(93PTS) and the Portland Winterhawks(85PTS).
It's Hat-Trick Wednesday, buy your ticket before 2:00pm on Wednesday and $19.99 will get you a hot dog, a pop and your ticket to the game.