Kelowna Rockets play host to Calgary Hitmen tonight
Kelowna heads to Portland for twinbill after entertaining Calgary tonight
The Kelowna Rockets host the Calgary Hitmen tonight at Prospera Place (puck drop is 7:05 p.m.) for their first Central Division meeting of the season before hitting the highway for three road games in four nights.
“We talked to the guys earlier this week to make sure they’re catching up on rest as well as making sure they’re eating and keeping hydrated,” Rockets head coach Jason Smith said on preparing his team for a tough five-night schedule. “When you go through a stretch of four games in five nights, it’s physically wearing but, more importantly, you have to stay sharp mentally. Taking care of yourself away from the rink is the most important part of that.”
The Rockets are coming off of back-to-back overtime wins on the road in Prince George last weekend. On Friday, the Rockets came back from a 5-3 deficit to win 7-6, and on Saturday the club tied the game 3-3 with just over a minute and a half to go, and went on to prevail 4-3.
“On Friday, I thought we played really well, and on Saturday we had lots of room for improvement,” Smith said. “We showed good battle and compete to come back after being down, but it comes down to playing within our systems to get us the results we want within 60 minutes.”
Following tonight’s game, the Rockets will head to Portland for back-to-back meetings with the Winterhawks on Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (5 p.m.).
The Rockets will then make the short trip to Kennewick, Wash., to visit the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday (7:05 p.m.) to close out the three-game road trip.
Kelowna enters tonight with a record of 4-1-0-1, good for second place in the B.C. Division with nine points — one ahead of the Prince George Cougars, who sit third.
The Hitmen come to Kelowna with a record of 2-5-1-0 for five points — tying them for fifth in the Central Division.
As of today, the Winterhawks hold a record of 6-1-0-0, placing them atop the U.S. Division with 12 points. The Americans sit tied for third in that division with a record of 4-4-0-0 for eight points heading into the weekend.