It's safe to say on most journey's, there are some ups, and there are some downs. During his 5 seasons at the helm, Okanagan Rockets general manager David Michaud is quick to point out that it's one of his favorite expressions.
"I tell every team at the start of the season, that there will be highs, and there will be lows. The key is to learn from both, and hopefully by the time the playoffs roll around, you are experienced and have handled some adversity."
The 2014-2015 Okanagan Rockets have experienced both.
After a red hot start to the season, the Rockets crashed back to earth as dropped 3 of 4 points to the Vancouver NW Giants right before Christmas, and then proceeded to drop 7 of 9 games between the Mac's and KIMMT events.
Despite all the recent struggles, the Rockets have hung tough in the BCMML standings with a record of 19-8-3.
Heading into yet another key weekend, the Rockets sit in 3rd place, just a single point behind the Giants. The hold on 3rd is tenuous at best, as the Rockets are just a single point up on the Chiefs, and on top of it all, the Hawks loom in 5th place well within striking distance. Even this weekend's opponent, the Greater Vancouver Canadians are just 7 points behind the Rockets. A successful weekend for the Rockets, and they essentially block the Canadians from any hope of catching them, a tough weekend and the Canadians are just 3 points back and its officially race on.
The Rockets know that with 10 games remaining, there is lots to be decided, and if they get hot once again, they likely can control their own destiny to a certain degree.
The schedule maker wasn't very kind to the Rockets who haven't laced up for a game at the Capital News Centre since Sunday December 6th, a span of 54 days to today. That number will grow to 70 days even by the time they host Fraser Valley on Feb 14th.
The Rockets are currently in the middle of 12 straight BCMML games on the road and have managed a record of 3-3-2 during the first 8 games. With the Canadians and Hawks waiting for the road weary Rockets, its going to get tougher before it gets easier.
If you do believe that it's darkest just before dawn however, the Rockets are almost through the tough stretch and they have earned points in 5 of the 8 games.
Best news of all for the club is that once the road trip concluded, they will wrap up the BCMML schedule by finishing with 5 of their last 6 games at the friendly confines of the CNC, with 4 of those against teams they remain unbeaten against this season.
The Rockets final weekend comes at home against the club that will win the BCMML regular season pennant, the Cariboo Cougars.
All that is at stake over the clubs final 10 games of the 2014-2015 season, is a chance to build towards game 1 of the BCMML quarter final series, and a chance to repeat as BC Champions and host the Pacific Regional Final. It's essentially up to the Rockets if they want that journey to start at home, or continue to struggle and face a much tougher road...on the road, a place they have seen just about enough of for now.