We start with the Kelowna Rockets, who were the first team in a very young season to dismiss their coach. Jason Smith had been the coach for the 2016 season and had compiled an impressive record. It was clear that a bad record would not give the Rockets a strong look into the 2018-19 season and a change was made. Within a few hours, Bruce Hamilton named his replacement coach in Adam Foote. Foote, who has had a son play as the captain of the Rockets in Cam and another who, for three seasons, has been the assistant coach in Nolan, made his debut against the worst team in the WHL in the Swift Current Broncos. a 3-2 win for Kelowna.
While it gives them a win, the Rockets are looking to make some big time plays in advance of a Memorial Cup bid in 2020. The Rockets with Foot add credibility to their team. Foote will be at least the coach through this year and next and one can assume this year and into next, it will be the Rockets who look to be the big time buyers in this and next year’s trade rumors.
With two wins this week and a battle with Spokane this weekend along with games against Kamloops in a doubleheader at home, the Hawks were an honorable mention in this week’s CHL Poll. The Prince Albert Raiders continued on their winning ways as they have now won 14 and lost just once as they open a sizeable lead in the Western Hockey League. The Raiders shutout Everett 3-0 and then had a close cal with Moose Jaw before they got the empty net goal to win 4-2.
The Hawks had a fan appearance this past week at two Les Schwab locations and will have another November 6 before waiting until the New Year to have their final one. The Hawks will also take part in the annual Shop With A Hawk event soon, as 25 kids from a school class will take part in this event. The players are partnered with a child to get a Christmas Experience that hopefully will steer them from a life of bad things. Thus far, the program has seen nearly $20,000 donated and has helped over 100 children.
Part of the big fundraiser will be the annual Ornament Auction ending on December 16, 2018. The ornaments, decorated and signed by the individual players, as well as a team signed ornament, will aid in the annual donation to the Sunshine Division.