Okanagan Rockets' goalie Cole Demers makes a save with Cariboo's Ethan O'Rourke on the doorstep and Danny Gatenby (left) defending in the final games of the B.C. Major Midget League regular season Sunday at CNC.

Okanagan Rockets to battle Thunderbirds in opening round

Kelowna-based midget team to open best-of-three Friday against Fraser Valley

The “real season” begins for the Okanagan Rockets on Friday night when they host the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds to open the B.C. Major Midget League playoffs.

Face off at Prospera Place is 7 p.m.

Game 2 goes Saturday, 5:15 at CNC while a third, if necessary, is set for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Prospera Place.

The Rockets admittedly weren’t thrilled with their fourth place finish this season in the BCMML, but can make amends over the next several weeks.

“We’re all ready to begin the real season, all year we’ve been stressing to the group to focus on the process and not the results,” said Rockets GM Braeden Pistawka. “I think the group comes into playoffs with a little chip on their shoulder as we may not have placed where we wanted to in the standings but none of that matters now except the game in front of us.”

There wasn’t much to choose in the season series between the teams, with the Rockets winning once and the other three games ending in a tie.

“I think we match up well against Fraser Valley, in saying that all four games this season have been tight and we expect it to be a war come Friday,” Pistawka said. “They’ve got excellent goaltending all year and have a quick break offence that can beat you on the transition.”

The Rockets (23-12-5) closed out the regular season at home over the weekend, losing both games to the Cariboo Cougars 3-1 and 6-4.


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