Kris Mallette will make his debut as the interim head coach behind the Kelowna Rockets bench this weekend when the Victoria Royals host Kelowna for back-to-back games at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena on Friday and Saturday.
Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton named Mallette the Rockets interim head coach following the release of Adam Foote on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.
Kelowna is heading into their final 14 games of the season with a record of 24-26-2-2 and currently sit in a wild card position.
The Rockets gave up a four-goal lead in the third period to fall 6-5 in overtime to the Calgary Hitmen on Monday at Prospera Place.
Kelowna will be without Nolan Foote this weekend, Hamilton provided an update on the Rockets captain on Wednesday.
“Nolan left today (Wednesday) for New Jersey to see their medical staff,” said Hamilton. “I spoke a number of times with the general manager there, and they’re fully prepared to do whatever they can do to get him ready play as soon as he can play.
“So he’ll go down there and go through a battery of tests, I’m sure with their medical team. Which doesn’t surprise me at all when you make a trade for the quality of player he is I would want to bring him in and have our doctors see him too.”
Sean Comrie and Michael Farren are listed on the Rockets Injury Report as week-to-week with upper-body injuries, while Liam Kindree is listed as being out for another six weeks. Defenceman Tyson Feist is questionable for the weekend, he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Affiliated players Steel Quiring, Dylan Wightman and Jarod Newell will make the trip with the Rockets.
A number of Royals are listed on the WHL’s Weekly Report. Their longer-term injuries include Ty Yoder, who is out 4-to-5 weeks with a lower-body injury, goaltender Shane Farkas and defenceman Jacob Herauf, who are listed as week-to-week with upper-body injuries.
Brayden Tracey, Sean Gulka and Tarun Fizer are all listed as day-to-day.
The Royals were in action last night, the Hitmen zipped past them 3-2 in a shootout.
B.C. Division Standings
||X- Kamloops Blazers
||Prince George Cougars
2019-2020 record vs Victoria Royals: 2-3-0-1
Oct. 29, 2019: KEL 3 at VIC 4 SO
Oct. 30, 2019: KEL 1 at VIC 0
Nov. 6, 2019: VIC 6 at KEL 3
Nov. 20, 2019: VIC 1 at KEL 4
Jan. 3, 2020: VIC 2 at KEL 1
Jan. 8, 2020: VIC 1 at KEL 0
Feb. 21, 2020: KEL at VIC
Feb. 22, 2020: KEL at VIC
Mar. 11, 2020: VIC at KEL
The last time these two met:
The Victoria Royals downed the Kelowna Rockets 1-0 at Prospera Place back on January 8, snapping the Rockets two-game win streak. Carson Miller scored the lone goal of the game 3:01 into it, pouncing on a rebound. Shane Farkas picked up his second shutout of the season, stopping all 29 shots Kelowna fired on him.
Players to watch:
- Defenceman Kaedan Korczak hit ten goals and 40 points on the season last weekend, two of his goal and a pair of assists have come against the Victoria Royals this season.
- Defenceman Jake Lee had a pair of assists and was named the second star in Monday’s overtime loss to the Calgary Hitmen.
- Brayden Tracey is listed as day-to-day with an injury. The Anaheim Ducks prospect was acquired by the Royals ahead of the trade deadline and leads the Royals skaters in points with 52 (18G, 34A) in 44 games. Since joining Victoria, Tracey has 14 points (3G, 11A) in 16 games.
- Overage forward Gary Haden leads the Royals in goals with 23. He sits second in team scoring with 50 points in 54 games played.
You can listen to both games on AM 1150 or watch online with WHL Live.