The Okanagan Rockets face a must win game at KIMMT Saturday morning when they take on the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Generals with a birth in the semi-finals on the line.
The Rockets come into Saturday’s contest with a day of rest behind them as they had Friday off and earned three points in the standings with an automatic forfeit win against the Coeur d’Alene Hockey Academy. The Rockets last game was a 4-0 loss to the hands of the OHA Red Prep team, a game in which Okanagan was searching for energy being the 2nd half of their 2-game Thursday schedule. The Rockets need to earn at least a point in today’s game to give them a chance at playing in one of the two semi-final games that are later today.
The Moose Jaw Generals will be coming into Saturday morning’s affair hungry after a Friday night loss to BWC by a 4-2 score. Chantz Petruic and Tanner Manz scored the goals for the ‘Gens in the defeat on a team that has been very strong in the crease. Hunter Arps went for Moose Jaw last night, meaning the Rockets will most likely see Colby Entz in goal for MJ today, he’s played one game in KIMMT and has a 22 save shutout to his name. These two teams last met on April 22nd, 2014 in a 3-3 tie at the Telus Cup that was hosted by Moose Jaw.
Players To Watch:
Caleb Riess (F): The Rocanville, Saskatchewan native has been electric so far this KIMMT, tallying four goals in three games and leads the Generals in scoring in SMAAAHL play with 24 points in 27 games. The 17-year-old has half (4) of the eight goals that Moose Jaw has in KIMMT so far. Riess is the only player on the Generals that has played the Rockets before being involved with the 2014 Telus Cup hosting Generals.
Connor Hayward (D): Although the Naicam, Saskatchewan native only has a goal and two assists in 25 games played in the SMAAAHL this season, his play offensively has elevated at KIMMT, posting two assists in his last two games. The 15-year-old (who’s birthday was just on December 10th) is the top point getting defensemen in the tournament for the Generals.
Colby Entz (G): The Churchbridge, Saskatchewan native is having a great season in the SMAAAHL, despite only a 7-7-1 record, his 2.48 GAA and .925 SV% are something to notice in the 15 games he’s seen so far this season. The 17-year-old has played one game so far this tournament and shutout the OHA Red Prep team with 21 saves.
This is the Rockets final round robin game of KIMMT before the semi-final stage kicks in. If the Rockets come away with a regulation win, they earn a birth in the semis no matter what. Anything other than a three-point regulation win makes things a bit more complicated. The winner of the Coast Capri Division will play in the first semi final at 5:00 pm against the 2nd place team in the Daily Courier Division while the Daily Courier Division winner will play the 2nd place Coast Capri Division finisher at 7:30 pm.