With two days off between Games 3 and 4 of their Stanley Cup playoff series in Edmonton, the Anaheim Ducks looked west to the Okanagan this week for a little downtime.
The NHL club held a brief practise on Monday in Kelowna and has ice time scheduled again for Tuesday, prior to returning to the Alberta capital Wednesday for Game 4 against the Oilers.
With Prospera Place available to the Ducks and a relaxing Kelowna setting serving as the backdrop, head coach Randy Carlyle said it was a great opportunity for his team to recharge away from the epicentre of the playoff hype in Edmonton.
“First off, we decided to come here because it was the rest factor,” said Carlyle. “Secondly, we just felt coming here would give us an opportunity just to say ‘whoa’ with our group and sit back, kick back.
“The ice was available to us…the environment here, staying in a hotel that’s right on the water, a lot of guys have been here before and found it relaxing,” Carlyle added. “We thought it would be an opportunity to bring our players to relax and not focus on what’s going on in Edmonton.”
Ducks’ defenceman Shea Theodore knows Kelowna well, having played at Prospera Place many times over four seasons as a member of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. The Aldergrove native said a trip to the Okanagan serves a nice diversion from the demands of a long season and intense playoff run.
“It’s definitely nice to be back here, I played quite a few games here, and it kind of brings back memories for sure,” said Theodore, a product of Aldergrove. “It’s a beautiful area, I’m around here in the summer time quite a bit, so yeah it’s always good to be back.”
As was the case on Monday, Tuesday’s practise session at Propera Place is closed to the public.