Kelowna Rockets might be out of playoffs, but their record speaks for itself | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna Rockets might be out of playoffs, but their record speaks for itself

The Kelowna Rockets season came to an end Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops as the team fell to the Blazers 5-1 in a tiebreaker game.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images
March 22, 2019 - 4:30 PM

KELOWNA - For the first time in years, the Kelowna Rockets are staying home this spring.

The Rockets fizzled out earlier this week when they fell to the Kamloops Blazers in a tie-breaker, tumbling out of playoff action. It's the first time since the 2006-2007 season the Rockets have failed to qualify for the Western Conference playoffs and only the second time overall since their move to Kelowna for the 1995-1996 season.

It was a rare misstep for the consistently strong team, one they'll try to bounce back from next season. This gap in their record may have put a sour taste in fans' mouths, but it also highlights the team's tremendous overall record and knack for getting its players to the next level.

In regular season play, they've won more than 50 games four times and more than 40 games seven times.

The Rockets often have strong showings in the Western Conference. They've made it to the finals five times in the last 23 years, failing to grab victory. They've persevered and managed to snatch the Western Championship in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2015.

In an odd twist of fate, the Rockets followed up a stinging loss with one of their biggest victories in 2004, losing the Western Conference finals only to win the Memorial Cup for the first, and so far only, time. They returned to the Memorial Cup tournament in 2003, 2005, 2009, and 2015.

While championship wins are fine feathers in the cap, the team's record of players moving into higher hockey levels is equally impressive. Dozens of former Rockets have gone onto careers in the NHL, including Mikael Backlund, Tyson Barrie, Todd Fedoruk, Shea Weber, Luke Schenn, just to name a few. The Rockets gave these players the launch pad to greater success.

The Rockets' rare shut-out from the Western Conference playoffs this year is no doubt disappointing for legions of fans who want more home game action in the spring months, but if history is any indicator, it's a disappointment they're sure to remedy next year.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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