PREVIEW: Winterhawks at Rockets 9/23/23
Portland Winterhawks at Kelowna Rockets
|Date | Time||Sat., Sept. 23, 2023 | 7:05 pm|
|Video Stream||CHL TV|
|Radio||104.7 The Lizard + Rocket Fan App|
|Live Stats||WHL Box Score|
|Live Updates||@Kelowna_Rockets on X (formally Twitter)|
The Kelowna Rockets will kick off their 2023-24 regular season on Saturday night when they host the Portland Winterhawks at Prospera Place at 7:05 pm. It’s the fourth time that the Rockets have opened their season against the Winterhawks since relocating to Kelowna in 1995.
“I think we’ve seen some excitement from our young players during the preseason,” said Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton about his team’s training camp and pre-season. “I thought Kykkanen was very good for us. Hiroki Gojsic and Tij Iginla have some real upside that’s going to be exciting once we have more of our veteran players back in the lineup with them.
“I’m excited about our team, it will be nice to get our guys back who are away, in particular Andrew Cristall. It’s disappointing in the sense that they’re not here for the home opener, but I would think next week we will have everyone back.”
In addition to it being the home opener, prior to puck drop the Rockets will be honoring the Kelowna RCMP, the Fire Chiefs from West Kelowna, Wilson’s Landing, North Westside, Lake Country and the Kelowna Fire Department for all of their hard work during the recent wildfires in a special on-ice ceremony before the home opener this Saturday.
Saturday’s contest is the lone game of the weekend for the Rockets, they’ll then be off until Saturday, September 30th when they’ll host the Western Hockey League’s newest team, the Wenatchee Wild.
Meanwhile, the Winterhawks will open their season on the road Friday night against the Wild.
Single-game tickets for all Rockets games are on sale at Select Your Tickets.
Tickets for Rockets games are only available at Select Your Tickets, they are the official provider of Rockets tickets. To view pricing and a seating map please click here.
Tickets can be purchased:
- Online at selectyourtickets.com
- By calling Select Your Tickets at 250-762-5050
- Or by visiting the Select Your Tickets box office at the Prospera Place box office. The box office is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and opens at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday home game days.
ROCKETS ROSTER UPDATES
Earlier this week the Rockets set their roster for opening night, which features fourteen forwards, eight defencemen and two goaltenders. To view the roster please click here.
- Twelve of the Rockets players currently on the roster were selected in the WHL Prospects Draft by Kelowna
- Max Graham, Tij Iginla, Ty Hurley, Michael Cicek, Trae Johnson, Hiroki Gojsic, Landon Cowper, Ethan Mittelsteadt and Jake Pilon were all acquired via trade
- Marek Rocak is the lone European player on the roster currently, he was selected 43rd overall in the first round of the 2022 CHL Import Draft
- Jackson Gillespie is the only 16-year-old on the roster, he was picked 17th overall in the 2022 U.S. Priority Draft
- Dylan Wightman was listed by Kelowna
With Kykkanen still away, the Rockets have recalled 2007-born Nathan Kam as an affiliate – he will wear Jari’s 30 for the game. It’s expected that 2006-born Jake Pilon will be in net for Kelowna this weekend, it will be his first appearance in a WHL regular-season game.
The Rockets will be without defenceman Caden Price who is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury and forward Marcus Pacheco who is out two-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury. The Rockets injury report is updated weekly and can be viewed here.
WHERE IS CAPTAIN GABBY?
As a 20-year-old import player, Gabriel Szturc has a few options of where he can play this season. He could play professionally in Europe or sign in the American Hockey League, he could also be assigned to Kelowna to spend his overage season with the Rockets.
Szturc was invited as an undrafted free agent to play for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their rookie tournament, he has since been invited to their main camp.
ROCKETS TO WATCH
- Forward Max Graham will be looking to carry his strong preseason into the regular season. The 19-year-old led the Rockets during the exhibition schedule with five points (3G, 2A) through four games.
- Hiroki Gojsic, Jackson Gillespie and Jake Pilon are all expected to appear in their first regular-season WHL contest
WATCH AND LISTEN
Rockets games will be broadcast on 104.7 FM the Lizard this season with Regan Bartel calling all of the action.
Don’t forget to download the RocketFAN app and visit rocketfan.ca for more exclusive Rockets content from Pattison. Fans can stream the radio broadcast of all Rockets games on the app.
Online video stream
All Rockets games will be available on WHL Live. WHL Live on is available to fans anywhere in the world, providing high-quality streaming of WHL games on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV platforms, via mobile with iOS and Android, and on web using Safari or Google Chrome web browsers. Visit watch.chl.ca for complete details and subscription options.
The Kelowna Rockets online 50/50 is back for the 2022-23 season!
The online 50/50 will give fans in Rockets fans located in British Columbia and those who are attending the game the chance to win during every Rockets home game this season. The 50/50 will also raise important dollars for the Kelowna Minor Hockey Association.
Tickets will be available for purchase on all game days starting at 9 a.m. PT and end at the start of the third period on the same day.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the online 50/50 and purchase tickets.
LINEUP SHEET + GAME DAY PROGRAM
Printed lineup sheets will not be available at games this season, they can be accessed online by visiting the game day program.
The Game Day Program will be available in the same spot, it comes complete with game notes, stats, team rosters and entry forms for the Rockets intermission contests.
The sheet and program will be uploaded by 3:00 p.m. on game days
Six and twelve game Mini Packs for the Kelowna Rockets season are now on sale through Select Your Tickets. To learn how to save on walk-up tickets and use the flexibility of a Mini Pack click here.