Nolan Foote will join the Team Canada selection camp for the World Juniors while the Kelowna Rockets are on a six-game road trip across Western Canada. (Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images photo)

Six games in 8 days: Rockets embark on Western Canada road trip

Kelowna starts in Prince Albert Friday night

In the entire month of December, the Kelowna Rockets will only play three home games.

With an upcoming six-game road trip and a week-long holiday break in the middle of the month, the Rockets will need to be consistent on the ice during their most sporadic month of the season.

On Friday, Kelowna will start their longest road trip of the season with six games in eight nights across Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Battling a large chunk of Central division foes, the Rockets cannot afford homesickness as wins and points are as valuable as ever in the tight-raced B.C. division.

“It’s going to be a good trip for us,” said head coach Adam Foote.

“We’ll be spending a lot of time together. Everyone’s excited and it’s probably good that we’re on the road and not sitting in a mall somewhere.”

READ MORE: Rockets’ Basran named to CHL Team of the Week

Kelowna has five wins and a shoot-out loss in their last six games. Riding a hot-streak going into one of the hardest stretches of the season will be a plus, but the Kelowna coaching staff will be challenged during injury-prone spans like this.

“We want to try and stay healthy,” said Foote.

“In the past, there’s been times were guys get sick so we need to make sure we get through this thing without too many injuries.”

The Rockets sit only four points behind the Kamloops Blazers for first in the B.C. division.

During Kelowna’s impressive six-game point streak, it has been the goalies have been the driving force for the Rockets with Roman Basran leading the way.

Aptly nicknamed The Mayor, Basran has been at the head of Kelowna’s recent dominance with back-to-back Goalie of the Week awards and being named to the CHL’s Team of the Week on Dec. 2.

“I think everyone just knows their role,” said Basran on the team’s success.

“Everyone’s been playing as a team and we don’t have any selfish players trying to do things themselves. We got to keep level, keep doing the same things that were doing (on this road trip) and take advantage of practices and pre-game skates to keep our legs going.”

Basran, alongside goalie partner Cole Schwebius, have given the Rockets superb play that echoes through the line-up.

“It gives the guys confidence,” said Foote

“When they make the saves they’re suppose to make, they give us a chance to win. The way they’ve been going though, they’ve been making some big saves as well.”

“That’s a bonus, right?” Foote said with a laugh.

The over 4,200 km road trip will conclude on Dec. 14 with the Rockets hosting the Vancouver Giants four days later for the first of three December home games (Dec. 27, Dec. 28).

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