Kelowna Rockets will kick off a new season with back-to-back games in Victoria this weekend

Rockets set for new season

Due to some scheduling changes, the Kelowna Rockets are the only team in the Western Hockey League yet to start their regular season.

That all changes this weekend when the Rockets kick off what is scheduled to be a full season, in Victoria.

While it's been nearly two full weeks since the Rockets closed out the pre season, head coach Kris Mallette says the break has been beneficial for the club.

"It was a training camp all over again for us to some degree," said Mallette.

"The layoff has given us the opportunity to go over the structure and style of play that we'd like to have. We were also using this time to rest and recover."

This is the first time the Rockets have played outside the Southern Interior since late winter of 2019, and their first trip to Victoria since Feb. 22, 2019.

The Rockets head to Victoria minus only newly acquired forward Colton Dach.

Dach, picked up in a deal for Trevor Wong 10 days ago, remains in the Chicago Blackhawks training camp.

He could be returned to the Rockets as soon as later today after suiting up in last night's exhibition game in Minnesota.

Czech forward Pavel Novak, who was unable to travel to North America for the COVID-shortened 2020 season is back with the team after missing all of camp and the pre season while attending the Minnesota Wild training camp.

The Rockets have won their last six meetings with Victoria, including all four matchups in the spring, plus 7-3 and 4-1 wins during the pre season. They outscored the Royals 31-9 over that span.

Following their opening two games on the island, the Rockets will return home to host the Kamloops Blazers in their home opener next Friday.

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