Kelowna Rockets forward Cody Chikie fires a shot at Prince George goaltender Devon Fordyce in WHL action Wednesday at Prospera Place.

Rockets try to cool defending champs

Kelowna puts three-game win streak on the line against Kootenay Ice Friday at Prospera

When the opportunity came along to string together some wins against the B.C. Division’s last-place team, the Kelowna Rockets didn’t miss out.

Three straight victories over the Prince George Cougars has the Rockets back in a groove they haven’t experienced since the early weeks of the 2011-12 campaign.

Now, head coach Ryan Huska will find exactly how far his team has come on Friday night when the defending Western Hockey League champions pay a visit to Prospera Place.

The Kootenay Ice (17-5-1-2) have won the first four games of their current B.C. Division tour, and are now tied for first place overall in the WHL.

“This is a great opportunity for our guys to play the defending champs,” said Huska. “(The Ice) are a very deep team and they play hard. Our guys should be excited about it. It’s a chance to play against one of the best teams in the league and hopefully it’ll bring out the best in our guys.”

Following up on back-to-back wins in Prince George last weekend, the Rockets (9-11-2-1) stretched their winning streak to three games with a convincing 7-3 win over the Cougars on Wednesday in Kelowna. Captain Colton Sissons scored twice in a four-goal Rockets’ third period.

And while the coaching staff is happy with the current streak, Huska said the Rockets still have some work to do—particularly by the team’s veterans.

“There are segments and portions of our games that are good, but right now we need more of a team game, everybody working and playing hard for each other,” he said. “Winning is always good, it allows your group to feel good.  We’re very happy with some of our younger guys, now we have to challenge our older players. They’ve been good in spurts, but they’ve been a little inconsistent. When you look at the teams that have success, it’s the older guys who are carrying the load.”

Two players Huska praised for their solid play of late is a pair of 17-year-old forwards, Colton Heffley and Tyrell Goulbourne.

“Those two have stepped up, they’re doing a good job killing penalties, being physical and they’re moving their feet. We’ve got that consistently from them.”

The Rockets, who will host Marc Habscheid’s Victoria Royals Saturday, will be without three players for the weekend’s action—F Spencer Main (head), D Myles Bell (groin) and Jesse Lees (shoulder).


Just Posted

Kelowna’s Pandosy Village Business Association looks to attract shoppers

Merchants to hold their annual Love Our Village Day promotional event Saturday

Kelowna cops investigating a serious hit and run Friday afternoon

Police say BMW driver fled the scene after a pedestrian was seriously injured on Rutland Road North

Cherry growers hope to avoid helicopter use

Extended rainfall can damage cherry crops

Updated: Kelowna bike share program proving popular

In the first week alone, 500 riders took 1,000 rides the city’s 180 Dropbikes

Kelowna film festival coming back for third year

The Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmaking’s IndieFest Film Festival goes July 14

What’s happening

Follow Social Squad memeber Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happeing this weekend

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Updated: Weather office says more thunder and strong winds possible Friday afternoon, evening

Environment Canada says winds could gust at up to 70 kilometres per hour

10 feet from home: B.C. grassfire offers stark reminder how quickly blazes burn

Kamloops woman among first people in B.C. to be told to evacuate home this wildfire season

Most Read