Kelowna Rockets have two home games this weekend
PHOTO CREDIT STEVE DUNSMOOR
The Kelowna Rockets will play a pair of games on home ice this weekend at Prospera Place, hosting the Vancouver Giants on Friday and the Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday - puck drop is set for 7:05 pm on both nights.
The Rockets and Giants are well acquainted, Friday's game will be the fifth meeting between the two in the last fifteen days, in the four previous meetings they've split it down the middle two wins each.
Kelowna has had the week off, they last played the Giants on Saturday where they downed them 5-1. Carson Golder posted his first WHL hat trick, while Gabriel Szturc and Marcus Pacheco both chipped in a goal each. Jari Kykkanen made 29 saves on 30 shots.
The Giants had a midweek matchup with the Raiders on Wednesday, falling 4-1 to Prince Albert.
Prince Albert will continue their BC Division trip in Kamloops before wrapping it up on Saturday in Kelowna.
The Rockets last took on the Raiders back on Dec 6, 2019 at the Art Hauser Centre where Kelowna won 2-1. Elias Carmichael is the only remaining Rocket on the roster who played in that game.
Friday's game will also be the annual Canadian Mental Health Association's Talk Today game. Click here to learn more.
Ty Hurley and Andrew Cristall both remain listed as out week to week with lower body injuries on this week’s injury report. After missing last weekend's games, defencemen John Babcock and Marek Rocak are both listed as day to day on the report. It was announced earlier this week on the Rockets twitter that Max Graham will miss the next three to four weeks with an upper-body injury.
The Rockets have called up affiliate players Scott Cousins (Prince Geroge Spruce Kings/BCHL) and Kayden Longley (Northern Alberta Xtreme U18 Prep/ CSSHL).
Cousins started the season with the Rockets, appearing in three games before being assigned to the Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL in October. The 2004 born forward posted seven points (2G, 5A) in 24 games for Prince George this season.
Longley was a Rockets draft pick in the 2021 WHL Draft.
The Injury Report is updated on Tuesdays, click here to view the Rockets Injury Report.
Players to watch
- Overage forward Carson Golder recorded his first WHL hat trick against the Giants last weekend. Six his ninteen goals this season have been scored against the Giants.
- Kayden Longley is expected to make his WHL debut this weekend after signing a WHL Scholarship and Development Agreement with the Rockets on Thursday. The 2006 born forward was the final pick in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft, the Rockets selected the Wainwright, Alta. product in the 13th round (No. 281). He's appeared in 25 games for the Northern Alberta Xtreme U18 Prep of the CSSHL, posting 28 points (11G, 17A) and 16 penalty minutes.
- Ty Thorpe leads the Giants in scoring with 51 points (24G, 27A) in 45 games this season.
- Mazden Leslie leads the Giants defence in scoring with 33 points (8G, 25A) through 46 games. He's ranked 80 among North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting Mid-Term rankings.
- Sixteen-year-old rookie Ryder Ritchie previously played for POE/RINK Kelowna, he was selected 14th overall by the Raiders in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft. He's recorded 31 points (13G, 18A) in 40 games with the Raiders this season.
- Sloan Stanick leads the Raiders in scoring with 46 points (17G, 25A) through 42 games.