Cal Foote and the Kelowna Rockets will host Calgary Friday, then travel to Portland for games Saturday and Sunday against the Winterhawks. -Image: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze

Rockets’ captain welcomes challenge ahead

Kelowna to play four games in five nights, three on road against tough U.S opponents

Just three weeks into the Western Hockey League season, it’s far from a make-or-break situation for the Kelowna Rockets.

Still, with four games in a five-night span—the last three south of the border—Jason Smith’s club is likely to learn plenty about its grit, resolve and resiliency.

After a home date Friday with the Calgary Hitmen, the Rockets will hop the team bus for a nine-hour trip to Portland where they’ll go back-to-back with the Winterhawks on Saturday and Sunday.

Then on Tuesday, Kelowna (4-1-0-1) closes out its U.S. tour in Kennewick, Wash against Tri-City.

While the stretch ahead might look somewhat daunting, team captain Cal Foote expects the task at hand to bring out the best in his teammates.

“It’s a huge challenge for our team,” said Foote. “I think it’s important for us to just take each game as it comes, just focus on Friday night right now, then we can prepare to go forward after that.

“Four games in five nights is a big challenge but I think we’re up for it.”

In the Winterhawks, the Rockets will see an opponent that many WHL observers expect to challenge for the Western Conference title.

Portland is off to 6-1-0 start and has outscored its opposition 39-17.

“They’re a highly-touted team, everybody believes they’re going to be a heavy squad, so we’re going to have to go in there with our ‘A’ game, play the best road games that we can,” Foote said of the games in Portland.

Foote and the Rockets hope to have some gas left in their tank Tuesday night when they visit the Tri-City Americans, another preseason pick as a contender for the WHL title.

“Hockey players, you live for adversity, you live for tests like this,” Foote said. “I’m excited and the guys in the locker room are excited, too.”

Face off Friday at Prospera Place between the Rockets and Hitmen is 7:05 p.m.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@capnewsports

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing dog from high velocity Kelowna car crash found

Jewels is recovering in the comfort of her home

Kelowna’s Boucherie Grind sweats for a cause

The event exceeded it’s fundraising goal

Dancing in the Park returns for another year

Lace up your dancing shoes, Kelowna

Kelowna Ride Don’t Hide raises $85,000

The CMHA honours two brothers during fundraiser

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Reel Reviews: Playing Tag with the Incredibles

The conclusion: “Both these movies are exactly what you’d expect.”

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Mabel Lake Road roll over claims life

Armstrong man died in hospital after single vehicle roll over June 18

Thunder, strong winds possible for Okanagan

Environment Canada released the special weather statement Sunday afternoon

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Residents association plan gathering to discuss Pandosy waterfront park

KLO Neighbourhood Association has scheduled a public meeting with developers and city staff June 27

Most Read