In early October, the Vancouver Northwest Giants walked into Kelowna and swept a pair of games from the hometown Okanagan Rockets.
In a mood to give back rather than receive, the defending champion Rockets would like to return the favour this weekend when the teams meet at the Burnaby Winter Club—the last BCMML games for both teams before Christmas.
The Rockets (17-6-1) are currently second in the league standings, while the Giants (15-7-0) are fourth spot, five back of Okanagan.
“This weekend gives us a chance to really solidify our position in the standings heading into the Christmas break,” said Rockets GM David Michaud. “We are in a good position right now, but things are so tight from secon to fifth, a good weekend puts us in great shape to host playoff games in March.”
The Giants will be looking to bounce back after a pair of tough upset losses to the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds, 4-1 and 5-2.
The Rockets, meanwhile, earned a split of games over the weekend in Victoria against the South Island Royals.
On Saturday, a lacklustre effort for the Rockets resulted in a 5-2 loss.
Marcus Mitchell, with his 15th of the season, and Brett Witala, with his 12th, scored for Okanagan.
On Sunday, the Rockets rebounded with a convincing 7-3 victory. Mitchell set the pace with a hat-trick, while Brandon Whistle added a goal and two assists.
Sam Binfet and Lucas Cullen rounded out the scoring, while Cole Demers stopped 19 shots in the Rockets net for his eighth win of the season.
After Christmas, the Rockets head to Calgary for the Mac’s midget tournament where they enjoyed success last year in reaching the semifinals.
Only one Rocket remains from last year’s squad, Mark Krabben.
“The tournament will be a huge test for this group and we need to head to Calgary playing the right way if we are going to build on our success of last season at the Mac’s,” Michaud added.