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Preview: Rockets look to secure playoff spot this weekend

Marissa Baecker

The Kelowna Rockets will be looking to jump back into the win column and secure a playoff position this weekend when they host the Seattle Thunderbirds and Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The Rockets will battle the Thunderbirds on Friday night before the Hurricanes roll in on Saturday night, puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. both nights.

Kelowna has had the week off, their last game was a 4-1 loss to the Everett Silvertips on Saturday night in Everett. Jonas Peterek scored the lone goal.

The Rockets will be without Nolan Foote (lower-body/week-to-week), Liam Kindree (upper-body/six-to-seven weeks), Michael Farren (upper-body/week-to-week), Sean Comrie (upper-body/sixteen weeks).

Dillon Hamaliuk could return to the lineup this weekend, the San Jose Sharks prospect is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He missed Saturday night’s game after leaving Friday night’s contest with an injury.

Seattle also last played on Saturday night, falling 6-3 to the Portland Winterhawks.

The Hurricanes kicked off their visit to the B.C. Division last night with 2-0 loss to the Prince George Cougars.

Kelowna could have secured a playoff position last night if the Cougars had lost to the Hurricanes in any fashion.

Lethbridge will face the Kamloops Blazers on Friday night before heading to Kelowna.

B.C. Division Standings

 # Team GP  W L OTL SOL PTS
1 X – Kamloops Blazers 59 38 17 3 1 80
2 X – Vancouver Giants 60 32 23 3 2 69
3 X – Victoria Royals 61 31 23 5 2 69
4 Kelowna Rockets 60 27 27 3 3 60
5 Prince George Cougars 60 18 34 4 4 44

U.S. Division Standings

 # Team GP  W L OTL SOL PTS
1 X – Portland Winterhawks 61 43 11 3 4 93
2 X – Everett Silvertips 60 44 12 3 1 92
3 X – Spokane Chiefs 61 38 18 4 1 81
4 Seattle Thunderbirds 60 23 30 4 3 53
5 Tri-City Americans 60 17 37 4 2 40

Central Division Standings

 # Team GP  W L OTL SOL PTS
1 X – Edmonton Oil Kings 62 41 11 6 4 92
2 X – Lethbridge Hurricanes 61 37 17 2 5 81
3 X – Medicine Hat Tigers 60 38 19 2 1 79
4 X – Calgary Hitmen 62 35 22 4 1 75
5 Red Deer Rebels 59 22 32 2 3 49
6 Swift Current Broncos 60 10 46 1 3 24

2019-2020 Season Series vs. Seattle Thunderbirds: 3-0-0-0

Oct. 11, 2019KEL 8 at SEA 3

Nov. 22, 2019KEL 3 at SEA 2

Jan. 24, 2020: SEA 2 at KEL 3 OT

Mar. 6, 2020: SEA at KEL

2018-2019 Season Series vs. Lethbridge Hurricanes: 0-1-0-0

Dec. 12, 2020: KEL 1 at LET 5

Players to watch

Kelowna

  • The Rockets called up prospect Nolan Flamand yesterday, he’s expected to make his WHL debut this weekend. Flamand was selected 27th overall by Kelowna during the second round at the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft. The 2004 born forward had 51 points (8G, 43A) in 43 games this season with the Saskatoon Blazers of the SMHL. He picked up another six points in four playoff games with the Blazers. With Saskatoon’s season coming to an end earlier this week, the 16-year-old is now eligible to play in more than five WHL games for Kelowna
  • The Rockets acquired former Seattle Thunderbirds captain Matthew Wedman on December 5. Wedman scored the overtime winner against the Thunderbirds back on Jan. 24.

Seattle

  • Overage centreman Andrej Kukuca leads the T-Birds in scoring with 55 points (24G, 31A) in 60 games.
  • Forward Conner Roulette is third in Seattle scoring and eighth in league rookie scoring. The 16-year-old has put up 51 points (19G, 18A) in 51 games.

Lethbridge

  • Dylan Cozens was drafted seventh overall by the Buffalo Sabres at the 2019 NHL Draft last June. The Whitehorse, YT product leads the Hurricanes in scoring with 81 points (36G, 45A) in 49 games this season.
  • Minnesota Wild prospect Calen Addison has 50 points (10A, 40A) in 47 games this season.

Tickets are on sale at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050. 

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