Even as the hottest team in all of B.C., the Okanagan Rockets expect to be challenged at the 2012 edition of the Calgary Mac’s Midget Tournament.
Unbeaten in their last 12 B.C. Major Midget League games heading into the annual tourney, the Rockets will face a formidable group of teams this week, starting with the Carolina U18 Hurricanes on Boxing Day.
Okanagan met the ‘Canes during the 2010 Mac’s tournament and came out on the short end of a 7-3 score.
On Thursday, Dec. 27, the Rockets will take on the Lethbridge Pronghorns, then on the 28th will face the perennially-tough Saskatoon Contacts.
The Contacts, who have won the tournament twice in 1997 and 2004 and lost the final three years ago, beat the Rockets 8-4 in 2010.
After an off-day on Saturday, the Rockets will close out pool play on Dec. 30 against the Calgary UFA Bisons (10-11-2).
The Rockets are aiming for the playoffs at this year’s tournament but know the road won’t be an easy one.
“In 2009, our club went 3-and-1 in the round robin and we still missed out on the playoffs” said Rockets general manager David Michaud. “The Mac’s doesn’t afford you many opportunities to slip up. Our group will be prepared and ready to go. This is always one of the best experiences for our guys, and we are excited to get to Calgary and see if we can keep ourselves rolling.”
The Rockets (18-2-4) head into the tournament on a seven-game BCMML winning streak.
The Okanagan club is just two points back of the Northwest Giants for top spot.
Also representing the BCMML this week in Calgary is the Cariboo Cougars and Greater Vancouver Canadians.