Their physical stamina and mental toughness will both be put to the test as the Kelowna Rockets face up to their most demanding stretch of the 2012-13 WHL season.
The Rockets will head into the Christmas break with five road games over the next six days, beginning Tuesday night in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice.
“It’s a lot of hockey to play in a short time and those aren’t easy buildings to play in,” said Rockets coach Ryan Huska. “This will be a good character test for our guys.They’ll have to be mentally tough and try to stay mentally sharp.”
The trip continues Wednesday in Lethbridge, before visits to Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Calgary on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Rockets would no doubt like to duplicate the types of efforts they;ve been getting at home over the last two months. On Saturday, Kelowna ran its winning streal at Prospera Place to 12 games with a 7-2 win over Prince George. Tyson Baillie scored twice for the the Rockets who haven’t lost at home since Oct. 10.
Kelowna captain Colton Sissons didn’t make the trip east as he continues to recover from an upper body injury. Sissons was forced to withdraw from the Canadian junior team’s selection camp this week in Calgary due to the injury.
Meanwhile, the Rockets (19-9-1-1) continue to climb up the Western Conference standings and are now fourth overall, five points back of the Spokane Chiefs.
Kelowna’s next home action is Thursday, Dec. 27 against the Kamloops Blazers.