The 2018/2019 WHL regular season starts with a B.C. Division double-header weekend for the Kelowna Rockets. The Rockets open the regular season in Kamloops on Friday facing off against the Blazers before heading back to Kelowna for Saturday night’s home opener at Prospera Place to take on the Blazers once again.
Long-time veteran Braydyn Chizen is entering his fourth full season in Rockets colours as one of two over-agers currently on the roster. Friday night in Kamloops followed by Saturday night for the home opener will produce a range of emotions for the 6’8 defender.
“It’s exciting, but it’s going to be tough at the same time. I had my first home opener here and it almost feels like it was yesterday. But it’ll be awesome to come out of that Ogopogo head one more time, and we also get to raise a banner this year so that’s going to be pretty special,” said Chizen. “It’s always exciting to get the real season going, and the guys in the room are pretty anxious to get going. The new guys are going to be a little bit nervous, it’s definitely a different calibre than preseason. I think they’re excited and once they get into the first game they’ll be fine.”
Chizen and his teammates have spent the time between the preseason and regular season fine tuning their game in preparation to Friday night.
“We’re really working on dialling in our systems. I think we need to be a lot better this year at being more disciplined. We’ve also really been working on backchecking and forechecking as well as neutral zone regroups. We’re really kind of keying in on the smaller details of the game so I think that’s really going to help us be successful,” Chizen said.
The Rockets managed to sneak in a little bit of bonding time over the weekend as well as they spent Saturday morning biking 24 kilometres.
The Rockets are back on the ice for practice until Thursday before they prepare for their first battle of the regular season on Friday night in Kamloops.
Fans will get to enjoy a banner ceremony on Saturday at the home opener as the Rockets raise their 7th B.C. Division title banner into the rafters prior to the 7:05 p.m. puck drop.
Puck drop on Friday night for the Rockets and the Blazers is at 7 p.m. in Kamloops.
The Rockets home opener against the Blazers on Saturday is at 7:05 p.m. at Prospera Place. Tickets are on sale at selectyourtickets.com. First six regular season games now available.
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