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Preview: Winterhawks at Rockets

The Kelowna Rockets will be back in action tomorrow night when they host the U.S. Division-leading Portland Winterhawks for the first of their back-to-back games at Prospera Place.

Kelowna will be looking to slow down the red hot Winterhawks, who are ranked third in the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings.

The Rockets are coming off of back-to-back losses to the Spokane Chiefs, dropping Friday’s game at Prospera Place 7-3 and Saturday night’s contest on the road 6-0.

Portland last played the Chiefs on Tuesday night where they overcame a three-goal deficit but fell to Spokane 7-6 in overtime.

With the single point, the Winterhawks became the first WHL team to secure a spot in the WHL playoffs.

B.C. Division Standings

 # Team GP  W L OTL SOL PTS
1 Kamloops Blazers 49 32 13 3 1 68
2 Victoria Royals 49 26 18 4 1 57
3 Vancouver Giants 48 23 20 3 2 51
4 Kelowna Rockets 49 23 23 1 2 49
5 Prince George Cougars 49 16 26 3 4 39

U.S. Division Standings

 # Team GP  W L OTL SOL PTS
1 Portland Winterhawks 49 35 7 3 4 77
2 Everett Silvertips 47 32 11 3 1 68
3 Spokane Chiefs 50 28 17 4 1 61
4 Seattle Thunderbirds 49 20 23 3 3 46
5 Tri-City Americans 48 15 28 4 1 35

2019-2020 Season Series vs. Portland: 0-2-0-0

Jan. 18, 2020: KEL 0 at POR 7 

Jan. 19, 2020: KEL 2 at POR 3

Jan. 31, 2020: SPO at KEL

Feb. 1, 2020: KEL at SPO

The last time these two met:

The Rockets headed into Portland for a doubleheader after facing the Everett Silvertips the night before.

Kelowna was without eight regulars in the lineup during the weekend. Kyle ToppingLiam KindreeNolan FooteSean ComrieMark LiwiskiTrevor Wong and goaltender Roman Basran were out with injuries. Kaedan Korczak served the second of his three-game suspension.

The Rockets faced a season-high 57 shots in the opening game, falling 7-0 to the Winterhawks.

In the second game, the Winterhawks zipped by with a 3-2 win. Rockets starting netminder Cole Schwebius stopped a season-high 49 of the 52 shots fired on him. Down 3-0 to start the third, Ethan Ernst and Jonas Peterek found the back of the net to bring the Rockets within one.

Players to watch

Kelowna

  • Ethan Ernst had a goal and an assist in the Rockets loss to the Winterhawks back on January 19th.
  • Defenceman Kaedan Korczak is tied for the team lead in points with 36.

Portland

  • Forward Seth Jarvis is ranked 19th on Central Scouting’s midterm listing of North American Skaters for the 2020 NHL Draft in Montreal. On Monday, he was named the WHL McSweeney’s Player of the Month for January after registering 29 points (11G-18A) in 10 games.
  • Netminder Joel Hofer backstopped Canada to gold at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championships. The St. Louis Blues prospect has a record of 26-5-3-2.

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

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