Rockets-Ice Begin Tonight
What would the Western Hockey League playoffs be without a showdown between the Kelowna Rockets and Kootenay Ice?
For the third year in a row and fourth time in five years, the BC Division rivals will do battle during the Western Hockey League post season.
The Rockets have won the last two series, eliminating the Ice in six games in the Western Conference final last year, and four straight in the opening round of the 04 playoffs.
The regular season was a roller coaster ride for the Rockets, who had lengthy winning streaks of 10, seven and five games, along with long home and road losing skids.
The Rockets were one of the hotter teams down the stretch, winning 11 of their final 15 games.
Head coach Jeff Truitt credits his veterans for the turnaround. "I credit the older guys for stepping it up and pushing the game to another level."
"It all started with Troy Bodie---over the last couple of months, he's really brought his game up to another level," says Truitt.
The Rockets will need all the veteran leadership and experience to advance past the Ice.
"It's gonna be tight. All three years have been tight," says Truitt. "You have to earn everything you get against these guys."
The Ice are a well balanced team with superb goaltending, who play hard in both ends of the ice.
Rockets forward Blake Comeau explains why they are so successful. "They have a lot of depth---Russell, Cracknell, he's had a great season and has been on a roll lately. You can't key on just one guy because they have so much depth."
The real winners should be the fans. "It'll be an intense series for sure---it's a shame somebody's going to have to bow out," says Truitt.
Games one and two will be played tonight and Saturday at Prospera Place. The series then shifts to Cranbrook for games three and four next Tuesday and Wednesday.