The Kelowna peewee Rockets have come a long way since losing their regular season opener 12-0 to Kamloops in early October.
This weekend in Nanaimo, the Rockets are among the final six teams in the running for the B.C. Hockey provincial tier 1 championship.
Kelowna will be joined by North Shore, Abbotsford, Prince George, Victoria and Nanaimo in the five-game, round-robin tourney which opens on Sunday.
With North Shore and Abbotsford considered the favourites, Rockets’ head coach Grant Sheridan expects his team will arrive at provincials a little under the radar.
“We like that we’re the underdogs, we have been all year,” said Sheridan. “I don’t think too many people expected us to get this far, so we’re good with that role.”
After struggling to find their game early in the season, the Rockets began to hit their stride after Christmas, winning a 32-team tier 1 tournament in Regina in January.
Then two weeks ago, the Rockets took down rival Kamloops in straight games in the Okanagan Mainline final, winning 5-3 and 5-2.
“We’ve seen steady team improvement this season,” Sheridan said. “We’re not the biggest or maybe the best as far as skill goes, but we just keep getting better. We have pretty good depth and we play as a team.
“The boys are looking forward to provincials.”
The B.C. final is set for next Wednesday, March 22.
At the peewee boys tier 2 level, the West Kelowna Warriors will be in Trail for the nine-team provincial championship.
Bantam A girls…
The Kelowna bantam A girls will be looking to defend their provincial title at the B.C. Hockey finals, beginning Sunday in Richmond.
The host Richmond Ravens are expected to be the ones to beat at the seven-team event.
“Richmond is very strong,” said Rockets manager Trevor Lutes. “Having said that, our girls have been playing well and anything can happen at provincials.”
Kelowna won the Okanagan Mainline title earlier this month, beating Kamloops 3-0 and 2-1 in double overtime to take the best of three in straight games.
Peewee A girls…
Kelowna’s peewee A girls will be pursuing a provincial title beginning Sunday in Surrey.
The Rockets will be joined at the B.C. Hockey finals by the host Falcons, Richmond, Tri Cities, Kamloops and South Island.
The teams will play five round robin games, with the final set for next Wednesday, March 22.
Kelowna won the Okanagan Mainline tile in straight games, defeating Kamloops 7-1 and 4-0.