Rockets to host Regina on Wednesday night
The Kelowna Rockets have been enjoying some home cooking since returning from a lengthy six-game road trip.
On Wednesday, the Rockets will host their first home game since early November, when the Regina Pats roll into Prospera Place. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
On Saturday, Kelowna wrapped up a six-game road trip, a trek that took them to Seattle, Portland, Prince George, Red Deer and, lastly, Edmonton. The Rockets were roundly thrashed in a 7-0 loss to Red Deer on Friday, but bounced back the next night in Alberta’s capital, beating the Oil Kings 3-1. Overall, Kelowna went 2-4-1-0 on the trip.
Wednesday’s tilt will be one of a short, two-game homestand, with the other being Friday night against visiting Victoria. Still, sleeping at home is better than being on the road.
“We’re really excited, it was a long road trip for us,” said Rockets forward Erik Gardiner “I’m excited to be back at home, I think we all are. It will be fun for us to play at home in front of the fans. The trip was good for team bonding, we had some tough games and got through those together. We also had a few days off in Prince George and Edmonton, so we got to do some fun things and got closer as a team. I think that the road trip has really helped us, and will pay off in the long run.”
Regina, meanwhile, is also on a lengthy road trip through British Columbia. The Pats started their six-game journey with a 5-2 loss in Cranbrook to the Kootenay Ice on November 13th, then travelled to Vancouver and got shelled by the Giants 10-4 in Langley on Friday, November 16th. The next night, the Pats fell 2-1 in Victoria.
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Regina will play Kamloops on Tuesday night, then Kelowna on Wednesday. The Pats’ road trip will end Friday in Prince George.
Wednesday’s game will be the only meeting of the season between Kelowna (9-13-1-0) and Regina (7-15-0-0). The two teams met only once last season, with Kelowna winning 7-5 in Regina on December 8th, 2017.
Notably, Gardiner is a former Pat, with Kelowna having acquired him in a trade on November 30th, 2016.
“This is my first time playing them; I was hurt last season,” Gardiner said of playing his former team. “I have a lot of close friends on the team, but I’ll put that away once the puck drops. I’m excited to play against them, hopefully, I can play well.”
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