The Okanagan Rockets (19-8-2) return home to Capital News Centre for the first time in 46 days on Friday night for a season series finale against the South Island Royals (12-13-6).
Last Weekend: The Rockets, like every team in action last weekend, spent Saturday and Sunday in Richmond, taking part in the BCMML Showcase where they took on the Vancouver North East Chiefs. OK earned a 2-1 victory Saturday night, while closing out the weekend sweep with a 4-2 win on Sunday afternoon. The Royals had a tough weekend against the Greater Vancouver Canadians, dropping 4-1 and 5-0 decisions over the course of the two-game set.
When We Saw You Last: This will be the fourth and final matchup between the Rockets and Royals on Friday, making up a game that was lost on December 13th due to travel issues. The teams played to a 1-1 tie on December 13th with SI goaltender Austin Roden making 42 saves. Earlier in the year, the Royals swept the Rockets in the first two meetings of the season in Victoria.
Trending In Opposite Directions: The Rockets have been hot lately, currently riding a four-game win streak and have won 10 of their last 13 games. The Royals, on the other hand, have lost five games in a row and have dropped to eighth place in the BCMML standings.
Rockets Taking Flight: Okanagan has found gold with putting Lucas Cullen, Eli Zummack and Hayden Dick together on a line. At least one member of that line has been in on 11 of the last 13 Rockets goals and all three come into Friday’s game with a point streak; Dick 3 games (2-4-6), Cullen 4 games (5-2-7) and Zummack 4 games (2-7-9)
3 In 3: The Rockets, along with the Royals, face an unusual task this weekend with three games in three days and will be a test of endurance for everyone. The Rockets, who really play three games in two and a half days with Sunday’s 10:00 AM start, will see the Greater Vancouver Canadians over the weekend after Friday night’s tilt while the Royals travel to Kamloops to play the Thompson Blazers.
Royal Pain: The Royals have given the Rockets their biggest challenges of the season, with Okanagan sitting at a 0-2-1 record against South Island so far this year. The Rockets have also been stymied by Royal goaltending, posting just four goals in the three games these two teams have played against each other.
Lineup News: The Rockets are getting closer to being healthy as captain Shawn Guison returns to the lineup. Chase Stevenson and Liam Hughes are getting close to being ready to play, but will remain out for the whole weekend. AP goaltender Nikolas Bregeda will again serve as a backup for Cole Demers.
Historically Speaking: The Rockets hold an excellent 21-7-11 record against the Royals/Thunderbirds club since 2006/07 (changing their name from T-Birds to Royals back in the 2012/13 season). Okanagan boasts a 12-1-6 at CNC in that time against the Royals/T-Birds.