Forward Jaiden Moriello (left) and goaltender Justin Katz (right) are the West Kelowna Warriors two representatives at the 2023 BCHL All-Star weekend being held in Penticton from Jan. 20 to 22. (@BCHLWarriors/Twitter)

Forward Jaiden Moriello (left) and goaltender Justin Katz (right) are the West Kelowna Warriors two representatives at the 2023 BCHL All-Star weekend being held in Penticton from Jan. 20 to 22. (@BCHLWarriors/Twitter)

Sports Weekend Preview: 2 Warriors in BCHL All-Star festivities, Kelowna Rockets play 3

Forward Moriello, goaltender Katz are the two West Kelowna Warriors at BCHL All-Star weekend

Happy Friday! Here’s what’s in the forecast for sports this weekend:

Kelowna Rockets

The Kelowna Rockets are back in action with a home-and-home series weekend against the Vancouver Giants and a game against Victoria.

Something has to give on Friday night in Langley as the Rockets go into the game with a four-game losing streak, while the Giants have lost three straight.

It’s been a tough stretch for the Rockets as of late as they are 1-10-0-0 in their last 11 games, getting outscored 47-16. Despite the stretch, the team continues to hold the final playoff spot in the WHL’s Western Conference standings with an overall record of 13-23-3-0.

The Giants are one spot ahead in the standings, sitting in seventh place, but are nine points ahead of Kelowna with a record of 16-19-4-2.

These two teams will get to know each other pretty well over the next couple weeks as over the Rockets next six games, they play Vancouver five times.

Going into the weekend, Rockets forward Andrew Cristall is tied for second in WHL scoring with 62 points. He has missed the last few games with an injury and his status for the weekend hasn’t been announced.

Before this weekend’s games, the Rockets made news on Thursday, announcing 19-year-old forward Gabriel Szturc as the 28th captain in team history and first European captain.

Friday night’s puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday night, the two teams will meet against at Prospera Place, with puck drop at 7:05 p.m.

The weekend comes to a close on Sunday afternoon as the Rockets welcome Victoria to town. The Royals are one point behind the Rockets in the standings with a 12-26-3-1 record but have had Kelowna’s number this season, leading the season series 5-1-1-0.

Sunday’s puck drop is at 4:05 p.m.

West Kelowna Warriors

The Warriors are off this weekend except for forward Jaiden Moriello and goaltender Justin Katz as they are the team’s participants at the BCHL’s 60th All-Star weekend in Penticton.

From Saugus, Massachusetts, Moriello leads the Warriors with 31 points (19 goals, 12 assists) in 31 games this season while Katz is 12-5 between the pipes this season with a 3.44 goals against average.

Both Moriello and Katz will be playing in the BCHL’s Top Prospects game on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

On Saturday, all-star participants will be taking part in the BCHL Skills Competition at the city’s new outdoor rink at 1 p.m. Moriello will be taking part in the faster skater competition.

The all-star game itself is a three-on-three tournament starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the same outdoor rink.

Between the skills competition and all-star tournament, the BCHL alumni game will be played at 2:30 p.m. Katz is serving as a backup goaltender for the alumni game.

READ MORE: Fastest skater? Hardest shot? Lineup for BCHL’s skills competition announced in Penticton

READ MORE: Oh captain, my captain: Szturc becomes first European captain in Kelowna Rockets history


@cunninghamjordy
jordy.cunningham@kelownacapnews.com

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BCHLKelownaKelowna RocketsLocal SportsOkanaganPentictonWest Kelowna WarriorsWHL

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