The Kelowna Rockets will face the Spokane Chiefs for the second time in less than a week tonight at Prospera Place.
In their first meeting of the season last Friday, the Rockets were blanked 4-0 at Spokane. The puck-drop for tonight’s rematch is set for 7:05 p.m.
Kelowna bounced back to score a 2-1 overtime win against the rival Kamloops Blazers at Prospera Place on Saturday and will be looking to build on that effort while avenging their defeat against the Chiefs.
“I think for us to be successful, we have to play our game,” said Rockets assistant captain Kaedan Korczak. “We know our (offensive)-zone structure is good against them, it was pretty efficient against them last weekend.
“We just need to get pucks deep and handle their defencemen.”
Kelowna and Spokane will play two more times after tonight, on Feb. 22 in Spokane and March 13 at Prospera Place.
The Rockets have a record of 21-25-4-1 for 47 points, which has them in third place in the B.C. Division. Kelowna leads Kamloops by two points, but the fourth-place Blazers have a game in hand and they will clash again this Saturday in Kamloops.
Kelowna and Kamloops have four more head-to-head matchups down the stretch and are battling with the Seattle Thunderbirds for the final two playoff berths — the third seed in B.C. as well as the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Seattle (19-24-5-1) is three points back of Kelowna with two games in hand on the Rockets and one point behind Kamloops with one game in hand on the Blazers.
Kelowna and Seattle have finished their four-game season series, with the T-Birds winning three, including once in overtime.
Kamloops has won two of three against Seattle to date, with their final game set for March 1 in Kamloops.
Kelowna trails the Victoria Royals by six points for second place — the Royals have three games in hand on the Rockets — while the Vancouver Giants are topping the division with 69 points, 16 more than Victoria.
Kelowna still has two more games to go against Victoria, Feb. 18-19 on the Island, and has to face Vancouver four more times over the final 17 games of the regular season.
The Rockets are 10 points ahead of the fifth-place Prince George Cougars (16-19-3-2), who will visit Prospera Place on Friday to wrap up their nine-game season series. P.G. has won six of the eight games to date, with Kelowna owning a 2-4-1-1 record against the Cougars.
As for tonight’s opponent, the Chiefs (26-17-2-4) sit in third place in the U.S. Division with 58 points. They are three points ahead of the fourth-place Tri-City Americans and 14 points up on fifth-place Seattle.
Spokane trails the second-place Portland Winterhawks by 11 points and the division-leading Everett Silvertips by 18 points.
The Hat Trick Wednesday deal includes entry to tonight’s game, a hot dog and a pop for $19.99 by purchasing tickets before 2 p.m.