Sunday, February 28, 2016

Skill won't do it this time. Determination will.

Shoot the Breeze Photography
February isn't only the shortest month on the Western Hockey League schedule, it is also the
toughest. The Kelowna Rockets met the month head-on though, winning 10 of 13 games and doing it without their first half MVP and an elite forward. Jackson Whistle didn't play a game in February. Nick Merkley suffered a season ending ACL injury on February 5th against Spokane. Others needed to step up and that is exactly what they did.

Over the last 26 days, the team beat Lethbridge in what at the time was a first place showdown of the top two teams in the WHL. Mission accomplished. The Rockets faced high end Red Deer and handed the Master Card Memorial Cup hosts a loss. The team finally beat the Seattle Thunderbirds and managed to throw dirt in the face of the Everett Silvertips by beating them in overtime. Not only did the Rockets beat the Tips, but they did it in their own backyard after the U.S Division leaders earned two overtime victories at Prospera Place in late December and early January.

The Rockets lost only three times in the month, with setbacks to Spokane, Seattle and Vancouver. Outside of that, seven victories in the final eight games was the way the team closed out the month.
Did the wins come easy? Not a chance. This team will have to fight for everything they get. It isn't a one man show here. Not any more! Not one player can carry this team on it's back. Those days are gone with the loss of Whistle and Merkley. What this team does have going for them is the ability to grunt out victories. It may not look pretty at times but the results speak for themselves.

With the calender turning to March, the Rockets are three weeks away from possibly doing what the 2013-2014 team was able to accomplish. It is an opportunity to capture the Scotty Munro Trophy as regular season champions. 

As the old saying goes; greatness isn't given, it's earned. 

The Victoria Royals aren't going down without a fight and Dave Lowry's team, unlike previous seasons, will be keeping their gloves firmly intact in an effort to beat you with skill, not brawn.

The two teams meet March 16th in what will be an epic game. 

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