After a pair of exhibition games on the weekend, the Kelowna Rockets began their first full week of practice on Monday as the team was back on the ice at Prospera Place.
The Rockets split two games with Vancouver to open the Western Hockey League preseason, losing 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday in Kelowna after beating the Giants 4-3 on Friday night.
Both games saw the Rockets dress a team full of newcomers and prospects as well as a few veteran players.
“I think it was a typical of exhibition hockey,” said Rockets director of player personnel Lorne Frey. “Our young guys have to get their feet wet and that is what this past weekend was all about. Now we have to get our veteran players in the lineup and we will have to make some decisions with a few players on what is best for us and and what is best for them.”
The Rockets will play another home-and-home set this coming weekend as Kelowna will play Victoria twice, meeting the Royals in Maple Ridge on Friday before hosting Victoria on Saturday.
Frey said the week of practice will be good for the players as the team heads for the start of the WHL regular season Sept. 21.
“We really haven’t had any practice time at all with this group,” he said. “Now we have to get down to a workable number and our coaches will start putting things together and start working on game situations that they will have to deal with. Now we have to just keep getting better as we go along.”
Frey said second year defencemen Madison Bowey and Jesse Lees as well as goalie Jordon Cooke had solid weekends. Cooke played both exhibition games in the Rockets net.