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Rockets under the gun as playoffs near

It's one of those scenarios where looks can be deceiving for fans of the Kelowna Rockets.

While the Rockets grip atop the BC Division of the Western Hockey League has been reduced to just a single point by the streaking Kamloops Blazers, the Rockets still control their playoff fate.

The Blazers reduced Kelowna's hold on top spot to that single point Tuesday night with a 6-0 victory over the Victoria Royals.

Back on February 1 the Rockets held a nine point edge on the Blazers. Since then, Kamloops has won 12 of 15 while the Rockets have been a pedestrian-like 8-6.

Despite their recent roller coaster ride of recent weeks and despite what happens in back-to-back games with the Blazers Friday (Kamloops) and Saturday (Prospera Place), the Rockets still control their own destiny.

With six games left in the regular season (four for Kamloops), the Rockets magic number to clinch the division title is four meaning any combination of Rockets win and Kamloops losses (regulation time) totalling four will give the Rockets their second division title in three years.

Kelowna can begin reducing that magic number tonight (Wednesday) when the same Victoria Royals invade Prospera Place.

The Rockets have won six of seven meetings with the Royals this season including the last five in a row while outscoring them 37-13.

The Royals were their usual feisty self Tuesday in Kamloops, amassing 108 penalty minutes including four fighting majors, four misconducts and three game misconducts.

Kelowna is battling injury woes heading into Wednesday's game.

Leading scorer Myles Bell will likely miss at least Wednesday's game with a lower body injury suffered Sunday in Kamloops. JT Barnett is also day-to-day with an upper body injury.



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