255 days after the Okanagan Rockets opened training camp, the club will open its first ever appearance at the Telus Cup against the Quebec champions, the Chateauguay Grenadiers.
The Rockets have been labelled "Giant Slayers" in Moose Jaw after a playoff run that saw them knock off the 5 time defending BC champion NW Giants, and the 2 time defending national champions from Red Deer, the Optimist Chiefs.
Chateauguay completed the Quebec season with an overall record of 25-16-4-1. They scored 161 times, good for an average of 3.83 goals per game. The Rockets conversely scored 225 times for an average of just under 6 goals per game during the regular season.
The Grenadiers lost both of their regular goaltenders for an extended stretch, which would be tough for any club to handle. The kicker for Chateauguay, they lost both goalies at the same time. To be able to weather that kind of storm and still find them in 4th spot at the conclusion of the regular season tells you all you need to know about their character.
Depending on which side of the coin you want to look at, the Rockets may have an advantage as the fresher team. Chateauguay just completed a grueling 7 game championship series with College Ester Blondin to punch their ticket to Moose Jaw. In total, Chateauguay played 21 playoff games to the Rockets 10. The question that will soon be answered is, are the Rockets fresh, or rusty?
Tonight's game can be seen live at no-charge by visiting www.hockeycanada.ca/teluscup. Click the Grenadiers vs. Rockets match up page to view. Puck drop is 3:00 pm PT, 4:00 pm local time.