Ten games into the 2014-2015 and the Okanagan Rockets are starting to find their stride.
Winners of six straight heading into their weekend with the Greater Vancouver Canadians, and there is a feeling around the Rockets camp that things are starting to settle in and take shape.
"With 19 new faces, and a new head coach, it would have been silly to think that there wouldn't be growing pains, or a learning curve" said Rockets general manager David Michaud, now in his 5th season with the club. "As a staff, we felt very comfortable with the group that we assembled, but at the same time, there was a bunch of unknown when the puck dropped on the season, now that we have been together for awhile, we are starting to get some answers around our identity."
The Rockets are 8-2-0 with their only 2 setbacks coming to the Vancouver NW Giants, a club that remains perfect at 10-0-0 on the season.
Many questioned where the Rockets offence would come after graduating several of the clubs biggest offensive names ever in the likes of Tyson Jost, Liam Finlay, Tanner Campbell, Jake Kryski, and Tanner Wishnowski.
Early on, there was one player, Marcus Mitchell who came flying out of the gate with 19 points in the clubs first 8 games.
In the past few games however, Mitchell has been joined by a red hot Brandon Whistle (10 pts in past 3 games), Zach Erardt (11 assists) Brett Witala (12 pts) and Levi Johnson (6 goals).
"Getting balanced scoring is crucial for us" said Simon Ferguson. "Life gets pretty easy for our opponents when they only have one line to worry about. The fact that some other players have really started to step up for us is really good news, the more balance we get, the better off we are going to be."
Defensively, the club has allowed the 2nd fewest goals in the BCMML with just 23 allowed over 10 games. The defence is also contributing on the offensive side of the game 7 goals from the back end.
The goaltending duo of 17 year old Jordan Reynolds and 15 year old rookie Cole Demers have provided the Rockets with steady play all season. The duo have allowed 3 goals or less in 7 of the Rockets 10 games and have combined for a .915 save %.
While much was made of how this season's version of the Rockets would compare with last years club, this years club has held their own with their 8-2-0. "I know this group takes great pride in building on what we accomplished last season." said Michaud. "Each year brings with it new challenges and successes, I think by the time the final buzzer sounds on this group, they will have done a tremendous job in continuing the legacy we are working hard to create here with the Okanagan Rockets."
The Rockets will play host to the Greater Vancouver Canadians at 3:00 pm and 10:00 am this Saturday and Sunday respectively at the CNC.