The Peewee A3 Jr. Rockets are all but tied with a couple of other teams at the top of the OMAHA league standings, but still aren’t sure yet if they measure up.
“Our division is split into Northern and Southern parts, so we don’t see many of the other teams,” said Coach Rod Charlton. “We’re playing Penticton, South OK, Summerland and West Kelowna, but the other teams that are pretty strong like Winfield and Kamloops we’ve only played a couple times this year.”
The familiarity with divisional rivals has led to some complacency on the ice by the Jr. Rockets players, something that Coach Charlton tries to be vigilant of.
“It’s tough for us to break our players out of bad habits and doing things that they shouldn’t be doing because they’re scoring and winning,” said Charlton, “but when we go up against stronger teams it takes a while for us to get going.”
The Jr. Rockets have both beaten and lost to their main competitors for a league title, Winfield, but moving into provincial playoffs and assessing where the Rockets are now versus where they will need to be in order to compete is a difficult task for a coach. There simply isn’t a wide enough frame of reference.
“We’ve got one more tournament in Trail. Hopefully we’re going to see some teams that we haven’t seen before. You hear rumours about how good others teams are,” said Charlton, adding that the only sure way to know how they measure up is to go head to head.