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Rockets dip into OHL for coach

The Kelowna Rockets have rounded out their coaching staff just two weeks before the start of training camp.

Travis Crickard, 27, has been hired away from the OHL's Ottawa 67's to serve as the team's new assistant/goaltending coach.

He replaces Kim Dillabaugh who stepped down from that position to take a full time job with the NHL's LA Kings.

Crickard held a similar position with the 67's a year ago and also spent two years as the head coach of the Ottawa 67's midget AAA hockey team after his playing career was over.

"We were looking for someone who was willing to take on the goaltending duties, but who could also do other coaching duties for us as well and Travis fit the bill," says new Rockets head coach Dan Lambert.

"I'm very excited to add Travis to our staff. He's a young guy and he's very open-minded."

Lambert says Dillabaugh was instrumental in the hiring process.

"Travis and Kim had some long conversations about goaltending and the position and how it's evolved over the last five or 10 years," says Lambert. "Things have really changed and I think Kim was really happy with what he heard from Travis."

The Rockets will begin the season with a new look behind the bench. Lambert has replaced outgoing head coach Ryan Huska (Aridondack Flames) while alumni Kris Mallette was hired as an assistant earlier this summer and will be on the bench with Lambert.

Crickard's other duties will include video coach and he says he's excited for the opportunity.

"It's definitely an exciting challenge that I'm really looking forward," says Crickard.

"I'm honoured to be part of such a world class organization. In speaking with Dan I feel like we will have a great working relationship. We share a lot of the same ideas and he seems open to the ideas that I bring to the table."

The Rockets open training camp Aug 20 and host the Kamloops Blazers in the first of six pre season games Aug 30.

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