With one of the most anticipated match-ups of the Western Hockey League season beckoning this weekend at Prospera Place, the Kelowna Rockets couldn’t be blamed for getting a little ahead of themselves.
Still, the club’s upcoming doubleheader against the league-leading Portland Winterhawks will just have to wait, as the Rockets have more immediate concerns—taking on the Chiefs Wednesday in Spokane.
“That’s the game (Spokane) we’re focusing on right and who we’re preparing for in our practises this week,” said Rockets head coach. “As well as we’ve been playing you can’t look past teams. Once that game is done, then the guys can look ahead to Portland and we can prepare for that.”
There will be plenty on the line when the Rockets host the Winterhawks this Friday and Saturday nights in a battle of the WHL’s top two teams.
Portland (43-7-1-2) leads the Rockets (40-10-3-1) by five points for first place overall.
The Rockets, who have points in their last 19 games (17-0-2), have won 23 consecutive games at home, the third longest single-season streak in league history.
The franchise record is 24—held by the 1992-93 Tacoma Rockets—a mark the 2012-13 edition of the Rockets could tie on Friday and break on Saturday with a sweep of the Winterhawks this weekend.
Still, Huska insists numbers and streaks aren’t and haven’t been his club’s focus this season.
“The guys have had these games (with Portland) in the back of their minds for a while now, they know what they mean and they’re looking forward to them,” said Huska. “But we haven’t really addressed (the streak) it’s something the guys don’t talk a lot about. The guys have done a pretty good job of not looking too far ahead and focusing on what’s next in front of them.”
The Rockets are coming off three wins in as many nights, including a weekend sweep of the Vancouver Giants.
A 5-0 win over the Giants Saturday was the Rockets 23rd straight victory at Prospera Place. Myles Bell scored twice and Jordon Cooke stopped 22 shots for his fifth shutout of the season.