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Rockets to Host Winterhawks

September 23, 2022 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Kelowna Rockets News Release

Kelowna Rockets in training
Kelowna Rockets in training
(Kelowna Rockets)

The Kelowna Rockets will kick off their 2022-23 regular season on Saturday night when they host the Portland Winterhawks at Prospera Place at 7:05 pm.

Saturday's contest is the lone game of the weekend for the Rockets, they'll then be off until Friday, September 30th when they'll head north to face the Prince George Cougars.

Meanwhile, the Winterhawks will open their season on Friday night in Kamloops before facing the Rockets.

It's the third time that the Rockets have opened their season against the Winterhawks since relocating to Kelowna in 1995. The last time was 20 years ago, falling 3-2 to Portland at Prospera Place on September 20, 2002.


Single game tickets for Saturday's game are available at Select Your Tickets. Tickets can be purchased online through, at the Prospera Place box office, or by phone at 250-762-5050.

Single-game tickets for the remaining Rockets home games will go on sale on September 29.

Watch and listen

Radio broadcast

Rockets games will be broadcast on 104.7 the Lizard this season with Regan Bartel calling all of the action.

Don't forget to download the RocketFAN app and visit for more exclusive Rockets content from Pattison. Fans can stream the radio broadcast of all Rockets games on the app.

Online video stream

All Rockets games will be available on WHL Live on CHL TV. WHL Live on CHL TV is available to fans anywhere in the world, providing high-quality streaming of WHL games on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV platforms, via mobile with iOS and Android, and on web using Safari or Google Chrome web browsers. Visit for complete details and subscription options.

Roster Updates

The Kelowna Rockets opening night roster features 27 players, including Colton Dach (Chicago) and Talyn Boyko (New York Rangers) who are both away at NHL Training Camps.

Players to watch


Andrew Cristall posted three points (1G, 2A) against the Winterhawks last season, the lone goal was his highlight reel lacrosse goal. He recorded five points (4G, 1A), four penalty minutes and a +6 plus/minus rating in two preseason games. The Rockets eighth overall pick in the 2020 WHL Draft will be eligible for the NHL Draft for the first time this June.

Defenceman Elias Carmichael led the Rockets in preseason scoring with seven assists in five games. The 19-year-old recorded 15 points (3G, 12A) in 57 games last season with the Rockets.

With Talyn Boyko away at the Rangers camp, it's expected that goaltender Jari Kykkanen will make the start for Kelowna tomorrow. Kykkanen returned to the Rockets earlier this week from his invite to the Florida Panthers rookie camp/tournament. He made 13 appearances in his first season with the Rockets last year, posting an 8-3-0-0 record with a 2.75 goals-against average, .897 save percentage and a shutout.


Defenceman Luca Cagnoni posted 36 points (9G, 27A), 36 penalty minutes and a +32 plus/minus rating through 63 games last season. A late 2004 birthdate, in December, Cagnoni will be eligible for the NHL Draft for the first time this upcoming summer.

With the Winterhawks top five scorers from last season moving on (Cross Hanas, James Stefan, Clay Hanus, Tyson Kozak and Jaydon Dureau), Gabe Klassen is the leading scorer for Portland remaining on their roster. The 19th overall pick in the 2018 WHL Draft finished sixth in team scoring with 64 points (33G, 31A) through 68 games.

It's not known which goaltender the Rockets will face on Saturday. Dante Giannuzzi returns for his 20-year-old season after appearing in 35 games for Portland last season, posting a 19-9-2-2 record with a 3.26 goals-against average and .891 save percentage to go along with two shutouts. The Winterhawks made one pick in this year's CHL Import Draft, selecting Czechia product Jan Špunar.

Series at a glance

2021-22 Season Series vs POR at a glance (0-2-0-2)

Nov. 5 vs Portland 5-4 SOL

Nov. 19 @ Portland 6-5 SOL

Nov. 20 @Portland 4-2 L

Jan. 8 vs Portland 3-1 L

2022-23 Season Series vs POR

Sept. 24 vs Portland 7:05 pm

Oct. 28 @ Portland 7:00 pm

Oct. 29 @Portland 6:00 om

Feb. 18 vs Portland 7:05

Pushor Mitchell Projected Lineup

The Rockets will post the Pushor Mitchell Projected Lineup complete with line combos at least half an hour prior to puck drop for all games this season. You will be able to find the graphic on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram stories.

Papa John's #Rockets1stGoal Contest

The Rockets Papa John's #Rockets1stGoal contest returns for the 2022-23 regular season.

Use #Rockets1stGoal in your tweet on Twitter, tagging the Rockets account @Kelowna_Rockets, telling us which Rocket will score first before puck drop on all game days. If you're right, you could win a three-topping large pizza from Papa John's BC and a puck signed by that player.

Contest open to BC residents only/ one entry per account

Lineup Sheet + Game Day Program

Printed lineup sheets will not be available at games this season, they can be accessed online by visiting the game day program.

The Game Day Program will be available in the same spot, it comes complete with game notes, stats, team rosters and entry forms for the Rockets intermission contests.

The sheet and program will be uploaded by 3:00 p.m. on gameday.

Season tickets are still available, don't miss a minute of the Rockets action and secure yours today.

Images from this story

Kelowna Rockets in training
Kelowna Rockets in training


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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