The Kelowna Rockets’ push towards the Western Hockey League’s overall title continues with a pair of midweek games—one at home and one on the road.
The Rockets will host the Prince George Cougars Tuesday, before heading for Kennewick, Wash. on Wednesday night for a date with the Tri-City Americans.
“Having the home game Tuesday is nothing different for us, but the challenge comes in turning the page quickly and being ready to play on the road the next night,” said Rockets head coach Ryan Huska. “We have to make sure we’re mentally sharp and have moved on from the previous night’s game.”
Kelowna (48-9-0-4) leads the surging Portland Winterhawks (46-12-2-3) by just three points for top spot, but the Rockets do have two games in hand.
The Winterhawks have won 20 consecutive games.
On the subject of Tuesday’s game, the Cougars and Rockets are about to meet for the fourth time in the last five games—over a span of 11 days—and the last of eight times during the regular season.
The teams split a pair over the weekend in Prince George, with Kelowna winning 4-2 on Friday and the Cougars rebounding for a 2-1 win on Saturday.
The Rockets are 6-1 against P.G. this season.
Kelowna could be getting a reinforcement back on the blue line this week as Joe Gatenby is close to returning from a lower body injury. Fellow blue liner Jesse Lees (lower body) is skating but remains sidelined on a day-to-day basis, while centre Tyson Baillie (lower body) remains three to five weeks away from a return.
The Rockets have 11 games left in the regular season, including four against the Vancouver Giants and two vs the Americans.