Sports

Record-setting season for Okanagan Rockets

Okanagan Rockets defenceman Kristian Blumenschein snaps a shot towards the Northeast Chiefs
Okanagan Rockets defenceman Kristian Blumenschein snaps a shot towards the Northeast Chiefs' net in B.C. Major Midget League action Sunday at CNC.
— image credit: Warren Henderson/Capital News

The Okanagan Rockets will try to follow up the best regular season in club history with a long and prosperous playoff run.

The Rockets, who won a team-record 32 games in 2013-14 —and set a multitude of other records—will open the B.C. Major Midget League playoffs Friday at home to the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds.

Face off for Game 1 at Prospera Place is 6:30 p.m.

Game 2 in the best-of-three goes Saturday at 5:15 p.m. at CNC, with a third game, if needed, Sunday 1:30 p.m. at Prospera.

The Rockets took three of four games from Thunderbirds during the regular season and are the favourites, but GM David Michaud said nothing in the post-season can be taken for granted.

"On paper everyone will think this series will be an afterthought for us, but as a group we know better," Mihaud said. "When it comes to the playoffs you can't afford to overlook anyone."

The Rockets (32-5-3) had designs on a first-place finish, but ended up a point back of the Vancouver Northwest Giants (33-5-2) for the BCMML title after settling for three of a possible four points against the Northeast Chiefs.

On Saturday at CNC, Okanagan let a 7-2 third period lead slip away against the Chiefs, then settled for a 7-7 tie. On Sunday, the Rockets rebounded with a 7-3 win.

"Obviously finishing second wasn't our objective, however we have to keep things in perspective," Michaud added. "We had a great regular season and accomplished things that no other Rockets clubs have been able to accomplish in our history.

"There is a ton to be proud of. First would have been nice, but our goal all along has been a trip to Moose Jaw and the Telus Cup. Finishing first or second doesn't change that goal."

It was another big weekend for 15-year-old phenom Tyson Jost who scored twice and added an assist Saturday, then fired a hat-trick on Sunday.

Jost finished the season with an all-time league-record 44 goals. He also led BCCML in total points with 88, two ahead of the Giants' Colton Kerfoot.

Some of the other records that fell at the hands of the Rockets this season were fewest losses (5), road wins (13) and home wins (19).

Individually, Branden Wagner is the all-time leader in goals (47) and points (117), while Liam Finlay is the assists leader (74).

Jost now holds the team record for goals (44), assists (44) and points (88).

 

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