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Preview: Rockets Gear Up For Busy Three Game Weekend

Marissa Baecker

The Kelowna Rockets will kick off a busy weekend tomorrow night when they host the Victoria Royals for their first of three games in as many nights. Following Friday’s contest, the Vancouver Giants will roll into Prospera Place on Saturday before the Rockets wrap up their weekend with an early evening matchup on the road against the Tri-City Americans.

Kelowna wrapped up 2019 with a 3-2 overtime win over the Prince George Cougars on Monday night, Liam Kindree danced his way through the offensive zone to shake off a Cougar and secure the Rockets 19th victory of the season with 3.4 seconds left on the clock.

The Rockets will be without Nolan Foote who is away at the World Juniors, Sean Comrie (injured) and Kyle Topping (injured).

Kyle Topping has resumed skating with the team but has not been cleared to return to play yet.

The Royals leapfrogged the Rockets in the B.C. Division standings for second place by a single point with a 1-0 win over the Giants. Captain Phillip Schultz scored the game-winner while Shane Farkas stopped 29 shots to pick up his first shutout of the season.

Bowen Byram is still away from the Giants, the Colorado Avalanche prospect is at the World Juniors competing with Team Canada.

Vancouver will take on the Kamloops Blazers in Friday night ahead of their Saturday night matchup in Kelowna.

Tri-City will be off on Friday but will head out on the road to face the Western Conference-leading Portland Winterhawks on Saturday.

B.C. Division Standings

 # Team GP  W L OTL SOL PTS
1 Kamloops Blazers 36 22 11 2 1 47
2 Victoria Royals 34 20 12 2 0 42
3 Kelowna Rockets 35 19 13 1 2 41
4 Vancouver Giants 35 17 16 1 1 36
5 Prince George Cougars 35 9 21 2 3 23

2019-2020 record vs Victoria Royals: 2-1-0-1

Oct. 29, 2019: KEL 3 at VIC 4 SO

Oct. 30, 2019KEL 1 at VIC 0

Nov. 6, 2019VIC 6 at KEL 3

Nov. 20, 2019: VIC 1 at KEL 4

upcoming games

Jan. 3, 2020: VIC at KEL

Jan. 8, 2020: VIC at KEL

Feb. 21, 2020: KEL at VIC

Feb. 22, 2020: KEL at VIC

Mar. 11, 2020: VIC at KEL

2019-2020 Season Series vs Vancouver Giants: 0-3-0-0

Sept. 29, 2019: KEL 0 at VAN 4

Dec. 18, 2019: VAN 4 at KEL 3

Dec.  28, 2019: KEL 2 at VAN 6

Jan. 25, 2020: KEL at VAN

Jan. 26, 2020: VAN at KEL

Mar. 20, 2020: KEL at VAN

Mar. 21, 2020: VAN at KEL

2019-2020 record vs. Tri-City Americans: 2-0-0-0

Oct. 2, 2019: TC 1 at KEL 6

Nov. 23, 2019: KEL 2 at TC 1

upcoming games

Jan. 5, 2020: KEL at TC

Feb. 12, 2020: TC at KEL

Players To Watch

Kelowna

  • Defenceman Kaedan Korczak is four points away from matching a career-high, he set the benchmark last season with 33. The Vegas Golden Knights prospect scored the opening goal against the Cougars on Monday.
  • Liam Kindree remained hot, netting the game-winner in overtime in the Rockets last outing. He now has three goals in his last three games since returning to the lineup from injury.

Victoria 

  • Winger Tarun Fizer leads the Royals in scoring with 32 points (11G, 21A) in 34 games this season.
  • Overage forward Gary Haden leads the Royals in goals with 14. He sits second in team scoring with 28 points in 32 games played.

Vancouver 

  • Rookie forward Cole Shepard had two goals and an assist in the Giants 6-2 win over the Rockets last weekend in Langley.
  • Justin Sourdif has been invited to play in the CHL NHL Top Prospects Game. The centre has 13 goals and 16 assists in 33 games this season.

Tri-City

  • The Americans acquired 20-year-old James Malm from the Calgary Hitmen on Thursday. He had 17 points (3G, 14A) in 21 games with the Hitmen before being dealt.
  • Colorado Avalanche prospect Sasha Mutala leads the Ams in scoring with 39 points (11G, 28A) in 33 games.

Puck drop for Friday and Saturday night is set for 7:05 pm, tickets are on sale at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050. Sunday’s contest against Tri-City will get underway at 4:05 pm.

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