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Preview: Rockets set to face Royals for the first time this season

Marissa Baecker

After being out of action for nearly a week, the Kelowna Rockets will hit the ice for the first time in six days tomorrow night when they face the Victoria Royals for the first time this season.

The Rockets will be looking to build off of their 4-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars last Wednesday at the CN Centre. Leif Mattson, who was named an assistant captain last week, said that the Rockets need to continue doing what they did last week.

“We haven’t played Victoria yet this season,” said Mattson. “We need to figure out what they’re all about and make sure we’re worried about what we’re doing. We just have to go in there and play the way that we played the last game in Prince George, and we can improve on it.

“It means a lot to wear an A for such a prestigious organization; it’s a huge honour. It’s my fourth season with the Rockets, and I think I can bring a lot to be a leader on this team and help out the younger guys.”

Victoria also picked up a win in their last outing. The Royals snapped the Kamloops Blazers six-game win streak with a 2-1 victory on Saturday night.

Kelowna is tied with the Vancouver Giants for second place in the B.C. Division with 15 points, the Rockets have a record of 7-4-1-0. They trail the division-leading Blazers by three points. The Royals sit in fourth place with a record of 5-5-1-0 and 11 points, and the Cougars sit in fifth place with nine points.

2018-2019 Season Series vs. Victoria Royals: 5-3-0-0

Oct. 5, 2018: Victoria 4 – Kelowna 3

Oct. 19, 2018: Kelowna 8 – Victoria 2

Oct. 20, 2018: Kelowna 5 – Victoria 1

Nov. 23, 2018: Victoria 1 – Kelowna 3

Dec. 7, 2018: Victoria 0 – Kelowna 2

Jan. 25, 2019: Victoria 4 – Kelowna 3

Feb. 18, 2019: Kelowna 5 – Victoria 2

Feb. 19, 2019: Kelowna 2 – Victoria 6

Players to watch

Kelowna:

  • Liam Kindree lead the Rockets in scoring against the Victoria Royals last season with 11 points, he had a career-high four points on October 19, 2018, against the Royals. Kindree has eight points in twelve games this season.
  • Kyle Topping had at least one point in all eight games against the Royals last season, he had ten in the season series. He’s currently third in Rockets scoring this season with 12 points in 12 games.

Victoria:

  • The Royals named Denmark product Phillip Schultz their captain last weekend. In six games this season the winger has an assist.
  • Tarun Fizer leads the Royals in scoring with nine points (six goals, three assists) in six games.

Puck drop is set for 7:05pm in Victoria on Tuesday and Wednesday. You can listen on AM 1150, watch on WHL Live or follow the Rockets Twitter for live updates.

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