KELOWNA —; The Rockets are going to be playing in a smaller venue for game three of the first-round WHL playoff series against the Blazers.
That’s why the rink at Prospera Place where they are practising on Monday has some extra blue lines painted on, to replicate the dimensions of the new playing space for game three.
“Their rink is five feet narrower and 10 feet shorter so we’ve painted some lines on our rink just to make some adjustments and get a feel for the neutral zone that we’re seeing [on Tuesday],” says Rockets Head Coach Brad Ralph.
The game will be played at Kamloops’ Memorial Arena while the IIHF Women’s World Championship is being held there, which means Sandman Centre won’t be available to the WHL team until Wednesday.
“It almost swings to their advantage from a home ice perspective but we’ve been good on the road and that’s what playoffs are all about. You’ve got to win on the road. Our crowd and support is phenomenal when we’re playing here, but we’ve got to find a couple ways to win in Kamloops now,” says Ralph.
The Rockets were defeated by the Blazers in game two, allowing two goals just seconds apart in the final minute of the third period.
“There were a couple breakdowns on the ice and it went downhill in a hurry… for us, it’s just moving on, taking all the positives, trusting what you’re doing and you have to believe it’s the reason why you play seven games, not just one,” says Ralph.
The Blazers took a 5-4 win over Kelowna at Prospera place on Saturday night.
READ MORE: Kamloops Blazers defeat Kelowna Rockets
Game four will be on Wednesday in Kamloops and game five will be on Friday night at Prospera place.
“Whatever it takes. That’s our mindset right now. Whatever it takes to win these games.”
~ With files from Travis Prasad