Sports

Improved 'Tips to test Rockets Friday

In their last three games, the Kelowna Rockets have squeezed out three one-goal wins against B.C. Division opponents.

With two formidable foes coming to town this weekend—Everett on Friday and Kooetnay on Saturday—head coach Ryan Huska said his team will need to be better than the one that's been somewhat fortunate to earn all six points in the last week.

"Everett (20-5-4-0) is probably the most-improved team in the league," Huska said. "We're going to have to play with more urgency and energy. We need to show more desperation than what we've been seeing."

Still, the Rockets continue to find ways to win, as evidenced by Tuesday's 4-3 victory over   Vancouver. Despite struggling for the better part of two periods, Kelowna tied the game with 17 seconds remaining on a goal by Ryan Olsen, then put it away on Damon Severson's overtime marker for their 13th win in 14 games.

The fact that the Rockets (20-3-0-2) have reached the 20-win mark faster than ever before in the club's history is at least one reason for Huska to be pleased.

"We all have a tendency as coaches to overlook a lot of the positives," Huska said. "The players have done a lot of great things and it's tough on them when they're getting results, but we're not happy. It's all about the process and as long we're playing well, that's what important."

Huska said his team's record and propensity for winning in many different forms, is a bit of a double-edged sword.

"It works both ways in that it's great for our dressing room, we're winning a lot of different ways and it gives the guys confidence. At the same time a false impression has crept in, and you have a tendency to take your foot off the gas. We don't win with skilled hockey, we win with moving our feet and working hard, and that's what we need to be doing."

The B.C. Division-leading Rockets trail the Silvertips by two points and Portland by three for top spot in the Western Conference. However, Kelowna has four games in hand on both teams.

 

 

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