The Kelowna Rockets get ready to visit the Brandt Centre in Regina to take on the Pats on Friday before heading to Brandon to face the Wheat Kings on Saturday.
Currently riding a five game win-streak, Assistant Coach Kris Mallette says despite the unfamiliar foes, the teams mindset remains the same.
“Our focus doesn’t need to change regardless of our opponent. The Eastern Conference is very strong and we’ll need to make sure that the details in our game of late continue,” Mallette said. “We will focus on being quick in the D-zone, manage the blue lines, and work hard to stay disciplined.”
Friday night is the first and only meeting this season between the Rockets and the Pats. They met once last season when Kelowna beat Regina 3-2 in overtime at Prospera Place in Kelowna.
The Rockets enter Friday night with a record of 17-8-2-1 that gives them 37 points and places them second in the B.C. Division, just two points back of the division leading Victoria Royals. Kelowna has three games in hand on the Royals. The Vancouver Giants sit in third place in the division with 30 points, but the Rockets have two games in hand on the Giants as well.
The Pats enter Friday with a 15-13-2-0 record that gives them 32 points. That’s good enough for fourth in the East Division, three points ahead of the fifth place Prince Albert Raiders, and nine points back of Kelowna’s Saturday opponent, the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Wheat Kings host the Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday night, but as of Thursday, they currently have a record of 20-7-0-1 that gives them 41 points, placing them third in the division, one back of the second place Swift Current Broncos.
Saturday night’s meeting with the Wheat King will be the first and only time these two teams see each other this regular season.
Following Saturday night the Rockets are back on the road heading to Moose Jaw for a battle with the Warriors on Tuesday, December 12th. Kelowna visits Swift Current the next night(13th) before making a stop in Prince Albert to face the Raiders on the 15th. They finish off the road trip in Saskatoon on December 16th. According to Mallette keeping the team sharp on the road means three things for the coaches;
“Our staff will keep the players well fed, well rested, and make sure they are always aware of the task at hand,” told Mallette.
The next home game following Saturday will be December 27th when the Rockets host the Kamloops Blazers at Prospera Place for a holiday B.C. Division battle.
Tickets are available for Rockets home games through selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.