Preview: Rockets Gear Up For Busy Three Game Weekend
The Kelowna Rockets will kick off a busy weekend tomorrow night when they host the Victoria Royals for their first of three games in as many nights. Following Friday’s contest, the Vancouver Giants will roll into Prospera Place on Saturday before the Rockets wrap up their weekend with an early evening matchup on the road against the Tri-City Americans.
Kelowna wrapped up 2019 with a 3-2 overtime win over the Prince George Cougars on Monday night, Liam Kindree danced his way through the offensive zone to shake off a Cougar and secure the Rockets 19th victory of the season with 3.4 seconds left on the clock.
The Rockets will be without Nolan Foote who is away at the World Juniors, Sean Comrie (injured) and Kyle Topping (injured).
Kyle Topping has resumed skating with the team but has not been cleared to return to play yet.
New year, new Topping pic.twitter.com/meFptIvdoa
— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) January 2, 2020
The Royals leapfrogged the Rockets in the B.C. Division standings for second place by a single point with a 1-0 win over the Giants. Captain Phillip Schultz scored the game-winner while Shane Farkas stopped 29 shots to pick up his first shutout of the season.
Bowen Byram is still away from the Giants, the Colorado Avalanche prospect is at the World Juniors competing with Team Canada.
Vancouver will take on the Kamloops Blazers in Friday night ahead of their Saturday night matchup in Kelowna.
Tri-City will be off on Friday but will head out on the road to face the Western Conference-leading Portland Winterhawks on Saturday.
B.C. Division Standings
|5||Prince George Cougars||35||9||21||2||3||23|
2019-2020 record vs Victoria Royals: 2-1-0-1
Oct. 29, 2019: KEL 3 at VIC 4 SO
Oct. 30, 2019: KEL 1 at VIC 0
Nov. 6, 2019: VIC 6 at KEL 3
Nov. 20, 2019: VIC 1 at KEL 4
Jan. 3, 2020: VIC at KEL
Jan. 8, 2020: VIC at KEL
Feb. 21, 2020: KEL at VIC
Feb. 22, 2020: KEL at VIC
Mar. 11, 2020: VIC at KEL
2019-2020 Season Series vs Vancouver Giants: 0-3-0-0
Sept. 29, 2019: KEL 0 at VAN 4
Dec. 18, 2019: VAN 4 at KEL 3
Dec. 28, 2019: KEL 2 at VAN 6
Jan. 25, 2020: KEL at VAN
Jan. 26, 2020: VAN at KEL
Mar. 20, 2020: KEL at VAN
Mar. 21, 2020: VAN at KEL
2019-2020 record vs. Tri-City Americans: 2-0-0-0
Oct. 2, 2019: TC 1 at KEL 6
Nov. 23, 2019: KEL 2 at TC 1
Jan. 5, 2020: KEL at TC
Feb. 12, 2020: TC at KEL
Players To Watch
- Defenceman Kaedan Korczak is four points away from matching a career-high, he set the benchmark last season with 33. The Vegas Golden Knights prospect scored the opening goal against the Cougars on Monday.
- Liam Kindree remained hot, netting the game-winner in overtime in the Rockets last outing. He now has three goals in his last three games since returning to the lineup from injury.
- Winger Tarun Fizer leads the Royals in scoring with 32 points (11G, 21A) in 34 games this season.
- Overage forward Gary Haden leads the Royals in goals with 14. He sits second in team scoring with 28 points in 32 games played.
- Rookie forward Cole Shepard had two goals and an assist in the Giants 6-2 win over the Rockets last weekend in Langley.
- Justin Sourdif has been invited to play in the CHL NHL Top Prospects Game. The centre has 13 goals and 16 assists in 33 games this season.
- The Americans acquired 20-year-old James Malm from the Calgary Hitmen on Thursday. He had 17 points (3G, 14A) in 21 games with the Hitmen before being dealt.
- Colorado Avalanche prospect Sasha Mutala leads the Ams in scoring with 39 points (11G, 28A) in 33 games.
Puck drop for Friday and Saturday night is set for 7:05 pm, tickets are on sale at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050. Sunday’s contest against Tri-City will get underway at 4:05 pm.