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Preview: Rockets head out on three-game road trip to the US

Marissa Baecker

The Kelowna Rockets will be looking to halt a three-game skid this weekend when they head to the United States to face the Everett Silvertips and Portland Winterhawks.

The Rockets will open the weekend on Friday at 7:35 pm against the Silvertips at the Angel of the Winds Arena. They’ll then move on to face the Winterhawks at 6:00 pm on Saturday night at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and again at 5:00 pm on Sunday.

Kelowna has already faced the Tips once this season but has yet to take on the Winterhawks.

Both opposing teams are listed on the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings for this week. Portland is ranked third, and Everett is eighth.

Kelowna will be without forwards Kyle Topping (lower body/one week), Liam Kindree (upper body/four weeks) and Nolan Foote (lower body/week to week). Defenceman Sean Comrie (upper body/two weeks) and will also be unavailable. Kaedan Korczak will miss all three games while he serves his three-game suspension.

Forwards Mark Liwiski (upper body/day to day), Trevor Wong (lower body/day to day) and goaltender Roman Basran (day-to-day) are questionable for the weekend.

The Rockets have recalled affiliated players Rilen KovacevicDylan Wightman, Jarod Newell, Noah Dorey and Cole Tisdale.

Kelowna was last in action on Saturday, where they fell to the Kamloops Blazers 7-2. Newly acquired Jonas Peterek scored in his debut as a Rocket, Alex Swetlikoff also found the back of the net in the loss.

The Silvertips dropped both of their games last weekend. Everett fell 4-3 to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday and 6-3 to the Regina Pats on Sunday evening.

The Winterhawks picked up a 9-4 win over the Pats on Tuesday. Portland will visit the Spokane Chiefs on Friday night before returning home to host the Rockets.

B.C. Division Standings

 # Team GP  W L OTL SOL PTS
1 Kamloops Blazers 41 27 11 2 1 57
2 Victoria Royals 41 25 13 3 0 53
3 Kelowna Rockets 41 21 17 1 2 45
4 Vancouver Giants 39 17 18 2 2 38
5 Prince George Cougars 42 11 24 3 4 29

U.S. Division Standings

 # Team GP  W L OTL SOL PTS
1 Portland Winterhawks 41 30 6 2 3 65
2 Everett Silvertips 40 26 11 2 1 55
3 Spokane Chiefs 41 22 14 4 1 49
4 Seattle Thunderbirds 40 17 20 2 1 37
5 Tri-City Americans 40 14 21 4 1 33

2019-2020 Season Series vs. Everett Silvertips: 1-0-0-0

Sept. 28, 2019: EVT 1 at KEL 5

Jan. 17, 2020: KEL at EVT

Feb. 28, 2020: EVT at KEL

Feb. 29, 2020: KEL at EVT

2018-2019 Season Series vs. Portland Winterhawks: 1-2-1-0

Nov. 10, 2018: KEL 0 at POR 3

Nov. 11, 2018: KEL 2 at POR 4

Mar. 2, 2019: POR 2 at KEL 1 OT

Mar. 3, 2019: POR 3 at KEL 4

Players to watch

Kelowna

  • Defenceman Conner McDonald is two assists shy of 100 in his WHL career. The 20-year-old has eight points (1 goal, seven assists), all even strength, since being acquired from the Edmonton Oil Kings in December.
  • With Basran sidelined, goaltender Cole Schwebius will more than likely be handed the reins.

Everett

  • Everett acquired defenceman Kasper Puutio from the Swift Current Broncos ahead of trade deadline last week. The Vaasa, FIN. product was selected first overall by the Broncos during the 2019 CHL Import Draft. He’s ranked 84th on Central Scouting’s midterm listing of North American Skaters for the 2020 NHL Draft in Montreal. Puuito will participate in the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game tonight in Hamilton.
  • Calgary Flames goaltending prospect Dustin Wolf is burning up the league this season with a 17-8-1-0 record, 2.13 GAA and a .933 SAV%. He represented the United States at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championships earlier this month in the Czech Republic.

Portland

  • Forward Seth Jarvis is ranked 19th on Central Scouting’s midterm listing of North American Skaters for the 2020 NHL Draft in Montreal. He’ll participate in the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game tonight in Hamilton. He leads the Winterhawks in scoring with 49 points and in goals with 20.
  • Netminder Joel Hofer backstopped Canada to gold at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championships. The St. Louis Blues prospect leads the league with a 2.00 GAA and is second in wins with a record of 22-4-2-1.

You can listen to the games on AM 1150 or watch online with WHL Live.

 

 

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