It’s back to business this weekend for the Kelowna Rockets.
After a comfortable six days off, the Rockets will return to action Friday night in Seattle against the Thunderbirds before returning home on Saturday to host the Kamloops Blazers for the first time this season.
As of Wednesday night, the Rockets are sitting in first place in the B.C. division with four wins and nine points.
Part of Kelowna’s early success this season has been the play of import player Pavel Novak, the 17-year-old Czech forward who has been lighting the lamp for the Rockets with three goals in his last five games.
Novak has adapted well to the changes of playing in the Western Hockey League.
“It’s more physical here, more skating. It’s a little bit slower back home, I think,” said Novak on the Rockets’ website.
The growing pains have been barely noticeable on the score sheet for Novak who’s tied for the lead in Rockets scoring and leads all WHL rookies with eight points.
The Rockets are coming off a two-game road-trip against the Cougars in Prince George last weekend where they netted a win and a loss. With wins this weekend, Kelowna hopes to create separation from the rest of the division; the Vancouver Giants sit only a point behind the Rockets and the Blazers are only three points behind.
Novak lifted the Rockets to the win over the Cougars last Friday with both goals in a 2-1 win.
Earlier this week, Novak was named to a preliminary NHL scouting list where his eight points in his first seven WHL games earned him a spot as a C rated prospect going into next summer’s NHL draft.
“I’m really happy, it’s really good news for me. But I will keep working hard for the draft in June,” said Novak.
Kelowna takes on the two-win Thunderbirds Friday before hosting the Kamloops Blazers Saturday night at Prospera Place.
The Rockets dropped a 3-2 overtime loss to the Blazers on Sept. 27 and will look for their first win of the season against their biggest rivals.
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