The Kelowna Rockets head north to face the Prince George Cougars in back-to-back nights this weekend at the CN Centre.
Coming off of a loss at home to the Cougars on Wednesday night, assistant coach Travis Crickard says his players need to increase their work ethic.
“Typically as long as your club is competing hard it’s easy to be positive with your group because you know things will turn around. Right now we just aren’t competing hard enough. We’re not finishing checks, not skating hard enough on entry into the offensive zone, and not skating hard enough on the forecheck. We as coaches just need to be giving constant reminders of those things,” said Crickard. “Effort is a big issue for us right now. We removed four highly skilled players from our lineup from last year. When you take those guys away it’s important for our players to realize that if we are missing skill we need to make up for it other areas; Our compete level, our defending, and our special teams. For me as a coach, I can control the complexity of what we are doing on special teams. The power play has struggled out of the gate which is a result of poor passing and slow puck movement. So we need to get the guys focused more on the fundamental of passing rather than structure.”
This is the second of nine total meetings between these two clubs this season. The Rockets and Cougars met eight times in the 2017/2018 regular season with Kelowna taking the season series with a record of 6-2-0-0. These teams met for the first time in the 2018/2019 regular season on Wednesday night and the Cougars took the decision by a score of 4-2 at Prospera Place.
The Rockets enter Friday night with a record of 0-3-0-0. They currently sit fifth in B.C. Divisional standings, three points back of the fourth place Prince George Cougars, and four points back of the Kamloops Blazers, Vancouver Giants, and Victoria Royals who all sit tied with four points each.
Puck drop on both Friday and Saturday night in Prince George is at 7 p.m.
Kelowna returns home for an Oct. 3rd matchup in which they continue their stretch of divisional opponents to open the regular season as they host the Vancouver Giants at Prospera Place. Puck drop on Wednesday is at 7:05 p.m.
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