Nick Merkley and the Kelowna Rockets will host the Red Deer Rebels Wednesday

Rockets set for rematch with Rebels

Kelowna, which lost 7-4 earlier this season in Red Deer, will meet Memorial Cup hosts Wednesday at Prospera

The only loss the Kelowna Rockets suffered on their trip to Alberta earlier this month came at the hands of the Red Deer Rebels.

The defending Western Hockey League champs are about to get another crack at the 2016 Memorial Cup hosts as the teams face off Wednesday night at Prospera Place.

“I’m expecting us to be better, to be tighter defensively than we were the first time around,” said assistant coach Travis Crickard, referring to the Rockets’ 7-4 loss to the Rebels on Oct. 3.

“We had some good chances offensively but just need to be more responsible in the D-zone.

“You have two good teams, so it should be a very good game.”

Crickard said with the return of defenseman Hadyn Fluery from the camp of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, combined with the play of Czech import Michael Spacek, the Rebels should also be an improved team over the last meeting.

One factor the Rockets shouldn’t have to worry about is fatigue.

It’s Kelowna’s first game since last Friday’s 3-0 home ice setback to the Victoria Royals.

The Rockets are coming off a stretch of five games in an eight-day span, and seven games in 15 days to start the season.

“I do believe the time off gave the guys some time to regroup and recharge,” said Crickard. “It was nice for them to get away from the rink.

“From the drop of the puck this season, it seems like it’s been go, go, go, game after game. The guys should be energized and ready to get back out there.”

Rockets’ centre Rourke Chartier remains sidelined on a day-to-day basis with an upper body injury and isn’t expected to play tonight.

Meanwhile, the Rockets also have a roster decision to make this week as all WHL teams must cut down to their three-player limit for 20-year-olds.

Kelowna currently has four overage players—Jackson Whistle, Tyson Baillie, Cole Linaker and Gage Quinney.

The Rockets will head to the Prince George this weekend for games Friday and Saturday against the Cougars.

The teams will meet again next Friday, Oct. 23 at Prospera Place.





Just Posted

Kelowna’s Community Calendar

Check out some upcoming events, or add your own event to our community calendar

YMCA launches teen program for mental health

Starting April 5, the Kelowna Family Y will host its first run of Mind Fit

Sunday Fiction: My father through my own eyes

Kelowna columnist William Peckham writes a monthly fiction column for the Capital News

Hodge: Losing a legend, and a local character

Kelowna columnist Charlie Hodge says two people have left large legacies

Need to catch up on news? You’re covered

Every Saturday the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Dust returns to North Okanagan

The Ministry of Environent and Climate Change Strategy has again issued a dust advisory for Vernon

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

Wilkie adds silver to medal collection

Para-Nordic skier picks up her third medal of the PyeongChang games in relay

Most Read