Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze                                Nolan Foote (middle) and the Kelowna Rockets will finish up the WHL’s regular season this weekend with two games against the Vancouver Giants.

Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze Nolan Foote (middle) and the Kelowna Rockets will finish up the WHL’s regular season this weekend with two games against the Vancouver Giants.

B.C. Division champs finish with two vs Giants

Kelowna will play home-and-home set against Vancouver prior to next week’s playoffs

With the B.C. Division title under their belts, the Kelowna Rockets will close out the WHL’s regular season this weekend with a home-and-home set against the Vancouver Giants.

The provincial rivals will face off Friday in Langley, then again Saturday at Prospera Place. Face off is 7:05 p.m.

With the first round of the postseason due up next week, head coach Jason Smith would like to see the Rockets restore some of the consistency and sharpness the club showed earlier in the season.

“The big thing is to stay healthy, for one,” said Smith. “We need to work on some aspects of our team to try and fine-tune some things to make sure we’re ready for the playoffs.

“We’ve gotten away from a little bit of our structure and the details that have allowed us to have success early in the year.”

The Rockets (41-22-5-2) secured the seventh B.C. Division crown in franchise history Wednesday night with a 6-3 win over the visiting Prince George Cougars. It was Kelowna’s third straight win, following a five-game losing streak.

Captain Cal Foote scored twice in the win, while brother Nolan Foote scored once and added an assist in his first game with the Rockets in five weeks.

The younger Foote, who hadn’t played since Feb. 3 after being sidelined with a hand injury, was happy to make his return on the very night the Rockets wrapped up the division banner.

“It means a lot,” Foote, who has 13 goals in 49 games, said of clinching top spot. “To be the top team in a great division, it’s awesome for the guys, everyone’s excited, we’re excited to have a banner and looking forward to it.

“It was good timing for me,” Foote added on his return. “I’m excited to be back with the boys and headed into the playoffs.”

The Rockets will be home to kick off the 2017-18 playoffs next week, with Game 1 set for Thursday, March 22. Game 2 in the best of seven will go Saturday, March 24 at Prospera Place.

Kelowna’s most likely opponents will be the Tri-City Americans or Spokane Chiefs.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@capnewsports

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com

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