The Kelowna Rockets will look to bounce back from a tough loss Wednesday in Kamloops when they enter a home-and-home match-up this weekend against the Vancouver Giants.
Head coach Jason Smith emphasized that his team could take away some positives from the loss but a higher level of execution is needed going forward.
“I think we did some good things in the first period. Had some offensive zone time, moved the puck well. But we didn’t battle hard enough down around the net. We had some opportunities from outside and we had some chances where we were in close to the net but we didn’t shoot the puck,” Smith said.
“But you got to take what you can from that game and more-so flush it down the toilet. Moving forward I think we need to play way better than that and need to execute at a higher level, as well as have more urgency.”
The Rockets head into the game as winners of three of their last four games despite the loss to the Blazers. Their record stands at 30-20-4-0 and they’re tied with the Victoria Royals for third in the B.C. Division with 54 points, although Kelowna does hold a game in hand. The Giants are currently sitting in fifth place in the B.C. division and 10th in the Western Conference with a record of 18-32-2-3, while they have gone 2-6-1-1 in their past 10 games.
The pair of games this weekend will be the fourth and fifth meetings out of eight between the two clubs. Kelowna holds a 2-1 advantage in the season series. Kelowna won 6-4 in Vancouver on Nov. 4 and 5-3 on Nov. 18 at home. Vancouver’s lone win was the most recent contest, taking a 5-4 decision on Jan. 20.
The Rockets have 16 games remaining following the doubleheader with Vancouver for the Rockets with half of those coming against B.C. Division opponents. The Rockets will play Kamloops once more, two games against both Victoria and Prince George, and Kelowna will play Vancouver three more times including another home-and-home on March 17 and 18 to finish up the season.
The Rockets are home again on Monday February 13th for a Family Day matinee with the Seattle Thunderbirds, with puck drop going at 2:05.