State of Play

B.C. foes Rock­ets, Cougars to clash tonight at Pros­pera

The Daily Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

The Kelowna Rock­ets pre­pare to face off against a divi­sional ri­val — the Prince Ge­orge Cougars — tonight at Pros­pera Place.

Fresh off of a 3-2 win in Van­cou­ver fol­lowed by a 4-0 shutout over the Medicine Hat Tigers at home, Rock­ets coach Ja­son Smith said the re­cent de­fen­sive suc­cess is a prod­uct of his play­ers sim­ply bring­ing more in­ten­sity.

“We’ve been com­pet­ing at a much higher level. We’ve been do­ing a much bet­ter job de­fend­ing and our po­si­tion­ing has been bet­ter,” said Smith. “We haven’t been giv­ing up premium scor­ing chances that are ob­vi­ously a lot harder for a goal­tender to stop.”

Kelowna and Prince Ge­orge have met three times this sea­son, all of them in Oc­to­ber, with the Rock­ets win­ning all three.

On Oct. 6, Kelowna beat PG 7-6 in over­time. The fol­low­ing night, the Rock­ets were 4-3 over­time vic­tors.

Their last meet­ing — on Oct. 28 — the Rock­ets pulled out a 4-2 win over the Cougars. Tonight’s game will be the fourth of eight meet­ings this sea­son.

The Rock­ets en­ter Wed­nes­day night with a record of 14-8-2-1 that gives them 31 points, or sec­ond place in the B.C, Di­vi­sion, six back of the di­vi­sion lead­ing Vic­to­ria Roy­als, and seven ahead of the third place Van­cou­ver Gi­ants.

The Cougars en­ter Wed­nes­day with a 9-12-22 record plac­ing them tied with the Kam­loops Blaz­ers for fourth in the B.C. Di­vi­sion with 22 points.

ICE CHIPS — Puck drop is 7:05 p.m. … Fol­low­ing tonight’s game, the Rock­ets are back in ac­tion on Fri­day when they head to Spokane to take on the Chiefs. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. You can lis­ten on AM1150. … Pur­chase your ticket be­fore 2 p.m. to­day and for $19.99 you get a hot dog and soft drink. … Tick­ets are avail­able for Rock­ets home games through se­lec­ty­ourtick­, at the Pros­pera Place box of­fice or by phone at 250-762-5050.

MARISSA BAECKER/Spe­cial to The Daily Courier

Leif Matt­son of the Kelowna Rock­ets looks to screen the goalie as Joel Lakusta of the Prince Ge­orge Cougars at­tempts to move him Oct. 28 at Pros­pera Place. Kelowna won that game 4-2.

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