Pavel Novak celebrates his first WHL regular season goal against the Tri-City Americans at Prospera Place on October 2, 2019 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)

Pavel Novak celebrates his first WHL regular season goal against the Tri-City Americans at Prospera Place on October 2, 2019 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)

Kelowna Rockets facing off against Victoria Royals in first game of season

March 26 will see the first games of the WHL’s COVID-shortened 2021 season in Kelowna and Kamloops

Come the end of March, the Kelowna Rockets will step onto the ice for their first game in more than a year.

The Rockets begin their shortened 2021 season on March 26, at 7:05 p.m., facing the Victoria Royals in a nearly-empty Prospera Place.

From there, the Rockets will dive into a 24-game season packed into just 48 days. Five B.C. Division WHL teams will take each other on exclusively in Kelowna and Kamloops hubs.

“The WHL has developed an extensive set of protocols and believe the protective Hub environment will provide a high standard of safety, for not only players and staff, but the Kamloops and Kelowna communities at large,” stated the Kelowna Rockets in a statement Tuesday morning (March 9), shortly after the WHL confirmed its full schedule.

The league plans to test players for COVID-19 weekly, along with daily screenings and temperature checks for WHL players, billets, team staff and officials. Masks will be worn at all times with the exception of on-ice play.

No spectators will be permitted to watch in-person, but can still take in the game through the newly-launched WHL Live on CHL TV. More details are available by visiting watch.CHL.ca.

The full schedule is now available online at Kelownarockets.com/schedule.

READ MORE: B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

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