Rockets will face tough opening round against Silvertips

The Kelowna Rockets couldn’t have found a much tougher opponent to begin what they hope is a successful Western Hockey League playoff run.

The Kelowna Rockets couldn’t have found a much tougher opponent to begin what they hope is a successful Western Hockey League playoff run.

The Rockets begin the WHL playoffs tonight (Friday) in Everett against a Silvertips hockey club that finished the season tied for first in the Western Conference but was slotted into third place in a tiebreaker.

‘We’re definitely up against a very good team,” said Rockets coach Ryan Huska,. “Since Christmas you’d have to consider Everett one of, if not the best teams in the league. We’re going to have a big challenge.”

Making the challenge a little easier is the Rockets solid finish to the season and the team’s roster is the best it has been health-wise all season.

The Rockets head into the series having won six of their final eight games of the WHL season.

‘We are playing well and I think for the first time all year we’re as healthy as we’re going to be and that’s a big plus,” said Huska. That’s one of the bigger reasons we had a better ending to the season.”

The series begins in Everett with games Friday and Saturday nights before the teams come back to Kelowna for games three and four on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Rockets will go with Adam Brown in net to start the series while Kyle St. Denis (concussion) is the only player unable to play due to injury.

Huska says he likes the way his team is shaping up heading into the playoffs.

“In playoffs you need your guys to believe in each other,” he said.

“If they do believe anything can happen. To get out of the WHL this year, you’re going to have to do something very special because there is a lot of good teams.”

The other WHL Western Conference playoff series will feature matchups of Vancouver vs. Kamloops, Tri-City vs. Chilliwack and Spokane vs. Portland.

Kelowna Capital News