East leaders to test Rockets

Curtis Hamilton leads Saskatoon against dad's team

Goaltender Adam Brown and the Kelowna Rockets will host the Eastern-Conference leading Saskatoon Blades Saturday night at Prospera Place.

Like any father, Kelowna Rockets GM Bruce Hamiton wants his son to enjoy his birthday.

Just not at the expense of his hockey team.

Curtis Hamilton turns 19 on Saturday, the same night his Saskatoon Blades pay their lone visit of the season to Prospera Place.

The younger Hamilton has been a key figure in his club’s ascent to the top of the Eastern Conference standings this season. The 6-foot-3 205 pound Kelowna Minor Hockey product leads the Blades with 15 goals and 39 points in 27 games.

He also tops the league in plus-minus with a +27 rating.

“I want him to have a real good night and play real well,” Bruce Hamilton said of Curtis. “But wins are lot more important to the Kelowna Rockets. I’m not sure his mom feels that way, but that’s the way it has to be for us.”

It will be Curtis’ first visit to Kelowna for a WHL game since Dec. 3, 2008 when the Blades beat the Rockets 4-2.

Two years older and with an extra 75 games of experience under his belt, Hamilton hopes to be somewhat looser this time around.

“I’ll probably be a little more relaxed, but whenever I come there, there’s always nerves,” he said. “There’ll be family and friends watching, so that’s exciting and nervewracking at the same time. We’re two teams that are playing well right now, so it should be fun.”

On the subject of the Rockets, the elder Hamilton’s team is the hottest club in the WHL with 11 wins in 12 games.

Kelowna (15-11-0-0) has vaulted from dead last in the Western Conference to fourth place in the span of just over a month.

Coincidentally, the Blades (20-6-0-1) are the second hottest team overall with eight wins and a shootout loss in their last 10.

Bruce Hamiton said Saturday’s game against one of the league’s elite teams will be a good measuring stick for his club.

“This will be a real good test for us,” he said. “We chugged along through November, now we’ll see where we’re at. (The Blades), Portland, Medicine Hat, Tri-City, those are the teams you have to compete with. I hope the Blades win all their games except for the one on Saturday.”

Rocket Shots…The Rockets will be in Chilliwack Friday night. Kelowna has won both meetings aganist the Bruins (12-10-2-1) this season…Zach Franko had a goal and an assist and Adam Brown made 20 saves as the Rockets edged Seattle 3-2 on Wednesday at Prospera.

Just Posted

Truck fire forces evacuation of Lake Country gas station

No one was injured as firefighters quickly contained blaze at the Shell on Sunday afternoon

Gas leak contained near Lakeshore Road

Ruptured line was quickly contained Sunday morning by Kelowna Fire Department

High winds cause havoc for sailors

Kelowna Fire Department assists boats with broken masts on Okanagan Lake

Late night confrontation between two men in Peachland

RCMP was called to the scene of a physcial encounter on Saturday evening where one man was injured

Update: Police expand search in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Examination continues in Silver Creek, while another search happens between Salmon Arm and Enderby

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Rockets raise money for autism

Western Hockey League club hosts third annual Family Day Sunday in Kelowna

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

A golden opportunity

Orthodontist offers sweet deal for the pocketbook

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

First-place Warriors edge Caps, visit ‘Backs today

West Kelowna scores twice in 25 seconds early in third to overtake Cowichan Valley in BCHL action

Grab a book; thank your librarian

All libraries are cornerstones of their communities and we celebrate them during library month

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

Most Read