For most of what remains of January, Michael Herringer will carry the load in goal for the Kelowna Rockets.
Jackson Whistle, the team’s No. 1 netminder, has been sidelined two to three weeks with recurring hip problems.
“We’ve decided to shut him down for a while,” Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton said of Whistle. “His hips are sore and it’s been an ongoing problem. He needs time to get over this so we’re going to give him real hard rehab.
“We need to make sure he’s good for the playoffs, so he’ll get as much time as he needs.”
Whistle, 20, is 19-6-2-0 this season with a 2.54 goals against average and .920 save percentage.
Hamilton is in the process of looking for a back up to Herringer, whether it’s an affiliate player or a goalie the Rockets may be able to acquire.
As for Herringer, Hamilton said the 19-year-old from Comox will be relied upon during Whistle’s absence.
“He’s going to get a stretch of games in a row, so he’s got to get used to playing lots, and on back-to-back nights,” Hamilton. “That’ll be up to (goalie coach) Travis Crickard to get him up to speed.
“We’ll see who we bring in as backup, I don’t think we’ll be afraid to use him, too.”
The Rockets return to action Friday when they host Everett Silvertips.
Both Rourke Chartier and Calvin Thurkauf, who were both at the world junior hockey championship, are expected back in the lineup Friday.