On the road again

 Conner Bruggen-Cate #20 of the Kelowna Rockets stick checks a player of the Lethbridge Hurricanes on November 17, 2017 at Prospera Place in Kelowna.

The Kelowna Rockets head out on a three-game road trip through Alberta beginning in Lethbridge tonight. The match-up is the final time the Rockets will face the Hurricanes this regular season.

The Rockets and Hurricanes have met twice already this season with Kelowna taking both games on home ice. On Nov. 17, the Rockets won 7-4. In the most recent match-up on Jan. 17, the Rockets edged past the Hurricanes in a 4-3 overtime win. Rockets Captain Cal Foote scored the game-winning goal at the 2:55 mark in overtime. Rockets’ assistant coach Kris Mallette said to ensure another win against the Hurricanes, the team will need to stay focused.

“We need to make sure we’re playing with pace and staying disciplined,” Mallette said, Tuesday. “Sticking within the structure of our game plan is key to the team’s success.”

The Rockets are coming off an 8-4 win over the Victoria Royals on Saturday. Mallette says early pressure was a large contributor to their last win and they’ll need to continue that throughout the road trip.

“Last game we scored two goals early in the first five minutes (of the first period) and we built momentum through that,” said Mallette. “Those early goals let our young goalie breathe a little easier, but all in all we played sharp and skated well.”

Kelowna enters tonight’s game with a record of 29-14-2-1 giving them 61 points, placing first in the Wester Hockey League’s B.C division. The Rockets sit three points ahead of the second-place Victoria Royals with two games in hand, and four points ahead of third-place Vancouver Giants.

The Hurricanes entered their game against the Kootenay Ice on Tuesday night with a record of 22-20-4-0 giving them 48 points. They currently sit in second place in the Central Division, five points back of the Medicine Hat Tigers with one game in hand. (See complete standings on Page B5.)

The puck drop is tonight at 6 p.m. (PT).

Following tonight, the Rockets are back in action on Friday when they take on the Medicine Hat Tigers. Puck drop on Friday is at 6:30 p.m. (PT). Kelowna then heads to Red Deer for a match against the Rebels the following evening on Saturday night. Saturday’s puck drop is at 6 p.m. (PT).

The Rockets will be back on home ice Tuesday, Jan. 30 to take on the Medicine Hat Tigers in a re-match of the game on Friday night.

Tickets are available for Rockets home games through selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.

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