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:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Out to pasture at the Freak’n Farmer

The annual “fun” event at Covert Farms put on by the Covert family and HooDoo Adventures

West Kelowna Warriors dominate the Nanaimo Clippers

Three goals were scored during power plays

Fundraiser with wine to raise money for JoeAnna’s House

The Sovereign Order of St. John has committed to raise and donate $50,000

Okanagan artist donates painting to Okanagan College

Bryan Ryley, former instructor at the college donated an acrylic painting

Kiwanis Club donates money to Okanagan College

This establishes the Kiwanis Kelowna 2018 Legacy Education Endowment

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Fuhr: A looming pilot shortage

By Stephen Fuhr Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with local… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Most Read