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Rockets' captaincy agreeing with d-man Madison Bowey
It's easy to understand why Madison Bowey is a pretty happy camper—or should we say captain—these days.
In addition to his team being the runaway leaders in the WHL, the Kelowna Rockets are the No. 1-ranked team across the entire Canadian Hockey League.
Throw in the fact that the club is coming to the end of gruelling road stretch which has featured 16 of the last 18 games on the road, and the 18-year-old defenceman has another reason to smile.
And one more stat: since Bowey took over as the Rockets' captain Nov. 1, the WHL club has posted an eye-popping 27-3-0 record.
"It's been awesome so far, the team is gelling and playing some really good hockey," said Bowey, a Winnipeg native who has 14 goals and 39 points in 43 games this season to lead all blue liners on the Rockets. "Obviously it's always fun when you're winning, and it's great to come to the rink everyday feeling good about our game. Hopefully we can keep it going."
Bowey and the Rockets will be in Victoria for two games this weekend, Friday and Saturday, before returning to Prospera Place next Wednesday to host the Everett Silvertips.
The team will then play 11 of its next 14 games on home ice.
If all goes as planned, the extended dose of home cooking should pretty much help the Rockets sew up the WHL's overall title.
Still, as smooth as the road has been for the Rockets this season, Bowey understands the sometimes fickle nature of the game and how unpredictable factors, such as injuries and momentum changes, can come into play.
"Our coaching staff and our leaders in the room, we're not overconfident and we can't get arrogant about it," Bowey said. "This is not even close to being over, we have a long way to go, and a lot of things can happen yet. We just need to keep focusing on what we've been doing and finish out the season the right way."
As for the first two-plus months as Rockets captain, Bowey couldn't be more appreciative of his new role.
"It's pretty cool being a leader on this team right now, you couldn't ask for a better group of guys," he said. "There are a lot of guys who are part of (the leadership group). (Alternates) Myles (Bell), Tyson (Baillie), Damon (Severson) and Tyrel (Goulbourne) are all big parts of this and we're just running with it. We all have the same mindset."
Meanwhile, recently-acquired forward Marek Tvrdon will make his debut with the Rockets this weekend, as Kelowna battles the Royals Friday and Saturday nights at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
The Royals are the only WHL team to have beaten the Rockets (36-5-0-2) twice this season.