Mar 29, 2013 / 2:00 pm
The Kelowna Rockets depth will be tested to the max Saturday and beyond.
The Rockets, fighting for their playoff lives, will have to get by without two more key contributors when they put their season on the line Saturday at Prospera Place.
Defenceman MacKenzie Johnston and rookie forward Rourke Chartier are both out for extended periods of time due to injury.
Both are expected to miss six to eight week with injuries suffered in their first round series with the Seattle Thunderbirds.
In a statement released Friday, the club says Johnston suffered a second degree shoulder separation when he was hit from behind by Seattle forward Connor Honey.
Honey, who received a double minor for the hit, also faces a suspension.
The length of that suspension has yet to be determined.
Chartier is also gone six to eight weeks with an undisclosed upper body injury. He did not dress for Wednesday's 4-0 win in Seattle.
Johnston and Chartier join forwards Colton Sissons and Carter Rigby and defencemen Mitchell Wheaton who are also gone for the season.
The loss of Johnston leaves the Rockets with just five healthy defencemen meaning Colton Heffley my have to take a turn on the blueline, a position he has played on occasion this season.
Overage forward JT Barnett has not played since the opening game of the series with Seattle. His status is not known for Saturday.
If Barnett is unable to go Nick Merkley, a 15-year-old forward out of Calgary who was added to the playoff roster, may be pressed into service.
The Rockets face playoff elimination again Saturday in game five of their best-of-seven series with the T-Birds.
Seattle leads the series three games to one.
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