The Okanagan Rockets open up their 2016 Kelowna International Major Midget Tournament (KIMMT) with a battle against the Canadian Sports School League (CSSHL) Burnaby Winter Club U18 Prep team.
The Rockets come into the tournament having not played a game since their 5-0 loss against the Vancouver North West Giants on December 20th, a span of 17 days without any action. It was a rest that was much needed for a banged up Rockets group who sit in 4th place in the BCMML standings with a 15-8-2 record. Okanagan will look to avenge last year’s 2-3 record, which saw them miss the semi finals, just one year after winning the tournament back in 2014.
The Burnaby Winter Club U18 Prep team comes into the 37th annual KIMMT tournament as with the least amount of losses in the CSSHL’s Prep division, boasting a very strong 17-2-2 record, sitting six points behind the Prep division leaders in the Delta Hockey Academy. BWC hasn’t seen any game action since December 19th, which was a 7-5 loss at the hands of the aforementioned Delta Wild. BWC did not take part in the KIMMT tournament last year, with their last appearance coming in the 2-14 tournament, where they posted a 2-2-0-1 record, missing the semi finals.
Players To Watch:
Angus Crookshank (F): The 16-year-old forward has dazzled the CSSHL so far this season, plotting 19 goals in 20 games with BWC this year. He has 31 points total and has earned at least a point in 17 of those 20 games so far in the 2015/16 season. The North Vancouver native has impressed so much that he has already earned a commitment to the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen for the 2016/17 season.
Liam Watson-Brawn (D): The Vancouver native has been a steady presence on the blue line for BWC this year, posting nine assists in his 19 games played so far for the U18 Prep team this season. Despite having no goals, Watson-Brawn has also impressed BCHL scouts as he also has earned a commitment to Junior ‘A’ next season, that with the Prince George Spruce Kings. The 16-year-old has already seen time in the BCHL, playing in 6 games with the Spruce Kings this year as an affiliate player, earning one assist.
Bradley Cooper (G): Although goaltending partner Nico Lopes has played more games, the 16-year-old Cooper has been outstanding in the crease for BWC. The West Vancouver native has appeared in 9 games so far this season and has not lost a game so far with an 8-0-0 record. In those 8 games, Cooper has posted a 1.44 GAA and a sparkling .931 SV% to go along with two shutouts.
This is the first of five round robin games at KIMMT for the Rockets, with the next coming at 8:30 am on Thursday morning against the Delta Wild at the Rutland West Arena. It will be the first of two games for the Rockets on Thursday as they close out the day at 4:30 pm against the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s Prep Red team. That game will take place at the Kelowna Memorial Arena.