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Preview: Rockets road trip moves eastward

Marissa Baecker

The Kelowna Rockets will look to continue their hot streak as their prairie road trip moves eastward into chilly Manitoba.

The Rockets will face the Brandon Wheat Kings tomorrow night before moving on to take on the Winnipeg ICE Wednesday.

Kelowna has collected points in eight straight games, the lone loss coming in a shootout against the Edmonton Oil Kings on November 26. Their latest victory was a 4-3 shootout victory over the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday night at the SaskTel Centre.

The Rockets will be without their 19-year-old captain moving forward. Nolan Foote has departed for Team Canada’s selection camp for the upcoming 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Braden Schneider and Winnipeg ICE forward Peyton Krebs have also left their teams to attend Hockey Canada’s camp. Winnipeg forwards Michal Teply (Czech Republic), and Nino Kinder (Germany) have also left for their respective countries camps.

The Wheat Kings last game also went to a shootout. Brandon fell to the Kamloops Blazers 5-4 in the skills competition at Westoba Place in Brandon, MB on Friday night.

Winnipeg’s last game was also against Kamloops, who are also in the midst of their prairie road swing. Winnipeg froze out the Blazers 5-4 in extra time on Saturday night.

B.C. Division Standings

 # Team GP  W L OTL SOL PTS
1 Kamloops Blazers 29 18 9 1 1 38
2 Kelowna Rockets 27 16 8 1 2 35
3 Victoria Royals 26 15 9 2 0 32
4 Vancouver Giants  29 14 13 1 1 30
5 Prince George Cougars 29 6 20 1 2 15

 

East Division Standings

 # Team GP  W L OTL SOL PTS
1 Prince Albert Raiders 29 19 6 3 1 42
2 Winnipeg ICE 29 17 11 1 0 35
3 Saskatoon Blades 30 14 13 1 2 31
4 Brandon Wheat Kings 30 13 15 1 1 28
5 Moose Jaw Warriors 26 9 16 1 0 19
6 Regina Pats 27 7 17 3 0 17

2018-2019 Season Series vs Brandon Wheat Kings: 1-0-0-0

Nov 3, 2018: Brandon 3 at Kelowna 4

2018-2019 Season Series vs Kootenay ICE: 1-0-0-0

Dec 11, 2018: Kelowna 3 at Kootenay 1

Players to watch

Kelowna:

  • Pavel Novak will be back in the Rockets lineup after serving an eight-game suspension. The 17-year-old winger leads the Rockets in rookie scoring with 21 points (10G, 11A)  in 19 games. Despite sitting out a handful of games, he’s still tied for fourth in WHL rookie scoring.
  • Defenceman Kaedan Korczak has three assist in the last two games. The Vegas Golden Knights prospect is second in team scoring with 22 points (3G, 19A) in 27 games played this season.

Brandon:

  • Goaltender Jiri Patera is another Golden Knights prospect. The 6’2, 205 pound Czech Republic product recently returned to the Wheat Kings lineup from an injury.
  • Forward Luka Burzan is tied for the team lead in scoring with 30 points (13G, 17A) in as many games. The Colorado Avalanche draft pick leads Brandon in shots on net with 1o3.

Winnipeg:

  • Jackson Leppard is a name that will ring a bell for Rockets fans, the forward was dealt to the ICE in October. He has has 16 points in 24 games this season.
  • Forward Connor McClennon is listed as a ‘B’ rated prospect on the NHL Central Scouting’s updated ‘Players to Watch’ list, his B rating indicates that he’s a second-or third-round candidate for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft. His 26 points (10G, 16A) in 29 games place him third in team scoring.

Puck drop is set for 5:00 pm PST on Tuesday and 5:30 pm PST on Wednesday. You can listen to the game on AM 1150, watch on WHL Live or follow the Rockets Twitter for live updates.

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