The Okanagan Rockets play what will be their first of two games on Thursday at KIMMT, starting with the leaders in the Canadian Sport School League’s Prep Division, the Delta Wild Hockey Academy’s U18 Prep team.
The Rockets are coming into this game feeling very good after a 2-1 shootout win over the Burnaby Winter Club just 14 hours before the puck drops on their 2nd game at KIMMT. OK had only nine regular forwards, plus an AP, and were without captain Shawn Guison and managed to come away with a hard fought victory. Hayden Dick scored the only goal of regulation for the Rockets while Dick again, Zach Erhardt and Jordan Todd all scored in the shootout, with Todd’s marker being the goal that gave the Rockets the win.
The Delta Wild come into Thursday morning’s affair feeling a bit sour, losing a tight game in overtime by a 2-1 score against the Moose Jaw Generals on Wednesday. Delta fired 34 shots at Moose Jaw netminder Hunter Arps but could only beat him once on a rebound tucked home by Andrew Kemp to fall just short. Wild goaltender Ty Taylor went 21 for 23 in the loss as the top team in the CSSHL’s Prep Division (with a 21-3-0-0 record) looks for their first win of the tournament.
Players To Watch:
Akash Bains (F): The Red Deer Rebels 9th round Bantam Draft selection is enjoying quite a strong season, earning 32 points in 20 games and will be leaned on heavily for offense in the tournament as Delta looks to be without their top point getter and 15-year-old forward Brendan Budy. Bains is just over a point per game player in his 50 career Prep Division games split between both OHA and Delta.
Luke Zazula (D): This shifty, 15-year-old defensemen will be hard to catch and uses his speed well to get out of possible dangerous situations in his own end. At only 5’7” and 151 lbs, Zazula isn’t the tallest but makes up for it with great elusiveness, also chipping in with 19 points in 19 games this season. The Kamloops Blazers like what they see from the Langley native, taking him 82nd overall in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.
Ty Taylor (G): Even though he did not have the best game statistically on Wednesday, the 6’3” 16-year-old is having a season to remember posting a 10-2-0 record to go along with a 1.54 GAA and a sparkling .934 SV%. Because Taylor started against Moose Jaw Wednesday, the Rockets may see Jeremy Kellaway in net for Delta, who has been no slouch in the crease either (11-1-0, 2.03 GAA, .916 SV%).
The Rockets will play another game on Thursday, this one coming at 4:30 pm from Memorial Arena when the Rockets take on the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s Red Prep team.