It’s another big weekend for the Kelowna Rockets as they play another home-and-home, back-to-back series against the Kamloops Blazers.
The action gets started tonight (March 18) as the Rockets welcome the Blazers to Prospera Place. Saturday night’s game will take place in Kamloops at the Sandman Centre.
These two teams played a home-and-home series last weekend where the Blazers took both games. Last Saturday’s game was a heartbreaker, as the Rockets overcame a two-goal deficit only to lose 4-3 in the 12th round of the shootout.
Special teams could be a huge factor in this weekend’s series. In last Saturday’s game, five of six goals were scored on the powerplay. The Rockets’ man advantage is 0.1 per cent better, sitting at 23.3 per cent, than the Blazers.
Going into the weekend, Kelowna sits fifth in the Western Conference with a record of 34-15-1-4 (73 points). There is a 25-point difference between the Rockets and the sixth-place Vancouver Giants. Kelowna is only three points behind Seattle for fourth in the conference. Since the beginning of the new year, the Rockets are 19-6-2.
Kamloops is second in the West with a 41-14-2-0 record (84 points).
Despite the two losses last weekend, the Rockets lead the season series 7-2-1, outscoring the Blazers 35-29.
Rookie forward Andrew Cristall has been one of the Rockets’ best players lately. He has ten points (five goals, five assists) in his last ten games and 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in his last seven games.
Rockets goaltender Tayln Boyko and Blazers goaltender Dylan Garand started both games last weekend. Boyko has been great since being traded to Kelowna from Tri-City. He is 23-9-1-2 in a Rockets jersey. Garand leads the WHL with a 2.10 goals against average and is second in save percentage (.922).
Puck drop for tonight’s game at Prospera Place is 7:05 p.m. Saturday night’s puck drop in Kamloops is at 7 p.m.
All Rockets games are available to watch on WHL Live and CHL TV. To listen, go to 1550 on the AM dial.