Rockets back at home to host Warriors

After three games on the road, Kelowna returns to Prospera Place Wednesday to take on Moose Jaw in WHL action

Dillon Dube (right) and the Kelowna Rockets will host the Moose Jaw Warriors tonight in WHL action.

Dillon Dube (right) and the Kelowna Rockets will host the Moose Jaw Warriors tonight in WHL action.

Two days after facing the high-flying Everett Silvertips, the Kelowna Rockets will see one of the best clubs the Eastern Conference has to offer.

Tonight at Prospera Place, the Rockets will take on the Moose Jaw Warriors in the lone meeting between the WHL clubs this season.

Face off is 7:05 p.m.

The Warriors (26-12-6-1), who lost 4-1 to the Blazers last night in Kamloops, are second only to the Regina Pats in the East Division standings, and third overall in the conference.

Led by 38-goal man Jayden Halbgewachs, playmaker Brayden Burke (48 assists) and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Brett Howden, Rockets’ assistant coach Kris Mallette said Moose Jaw brings a formidable attack into town.

“Those guys are good, that line generates a lot of offense and they’re the ones that drive that team,” said Mallette.

“But after that, they do have three lines that work extremely hard. They try and create turnovers and opportunities out of those, so we have to make sure our guys are ready and aware of what they’re faced with.”

The Rockets (26-16-3-0) saw their three-game winning streak end on Monday afternoon in Everett in a 5-4 loss to the ‘Tips.

Penalties hurt the Rockets who yielded three power play goals to Everett (28-5-7-1) on seven chances.

“Discipline is something we need to be better at,” said Rockets head coach Jaosn Smith. “We’ve talked to some players individually as well as the whole group.

“We made sure we talked about the difference in a game that special teams can make.”

Still, the Rockets were in the game from start to finish and, according to Mallette, proved they belong with the league’s best.

“We know we can play with them,” Mallette said of the Silvertips.

“As (Everett coach) Kevin Constantine said we’re “a hard team to play against.’ We were right there with them. It’s just a matter of us staying disciplined and just continuing to work hard and do the things we know that make us successful.”

The Rockets will travel to Vancouver Friday to take on the Giants, before returning home to take on the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday.

Face-off at Prospera Place is 7:05 p.m.

Including the Portland game, Kelowna will play 16 of its last 25 games on home ice.



Kelowna Capital News