Okanagan Rockets sweep past Giants

Kelowna's major midget hockey team takes two from rivals to move into tie for second place

Okanagan Rockets' defenceman Wyatt Head (left) battles Vancouver NW Giants forward Ethan Reilly in BC Major Midget League action Saturday at CNC.

Like any head coach in the B.C. Major Midget League, Eric Blais would prefer that his team was unbeaten through the first three weeks of the 2016-17 regular season.

Still, the first-year bench boss doesn’t have too many complaints with the Okanagan Rockets’ 5-1 start to the new campaign.

“We can always be better and there are lots of things to work on,” said Blais. “I think we could be 6-0, but that’s the way it goes.

“All in all, 5-1 is a pretty good place to be early in the season.”

The Rockets are coming off a convincing home-ice sweep of the longtime rival Vancouver Northwest Giants.

On Saturday at CNC, Dylan Prpich scored twice as the Rockets outgunned the Giants 8-5.

Mitchell Gove, Max Kryski, Eli Zummack, Wyatt Head and Rayman Bassi also scored for the Rockets, while Owen Patrick stopped 25 shots for third third of the season.

On Sunday, Zummack, Bassi, Head, Kryski and Jeff Karpowich tallied in a 5-2 Okanagan win. Patrick was again in net to push his season record to 4-0-0.

Blais a the key to the two-game sweep was his club’s knack for offense.

“We scored some timely goals, no question,” he said. “Certainly when we got the opportunities we made them count. Our power play wasn’t as good as last week, but I thought 5-on-5 we were very good.

“I really liked the last part of the second game when we completely shut them down for the last five minutes.”

The Rockets (5-1-0) are tied for second with Cariboo in the BCMML, one point back of the first place Valley West Hawks.

Okanagan has a bye this coming weekend, before returning to action Oct. 22 and 23 in Trail against the Kootenay Ice.