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Junior hockey: Rockets thumped by Blazers, Warriors fall to Smoke Eaters – Okanagan

Junior hockey: Rockets thumped by Blazers, Warriors fall to Smoke Eaters - Okanagan
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A roundup of junior hockey results from the Okanagan and area.

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WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE

KAMLOOPS 7, KELOWNA 3

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The Kelowna Rockets were no match for the Kamloops Blazers and their offensive explosion Saturday night.

It was the second meeting between the two fierce rivals in as many days. The Rockets took down the Blazers 6-3 on Friday in Kamloops, but the Blazers got the last laugh in Kelowna 24 hours later.

After finding themselves trailing by a goal early in the opening frame, the Rockets scored two unanswered goals, and went into the intermission up by a goal. However, the Blazers outworked the home team and regained the lead in the second and took control of the game with three-straight goals.

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“We took our foot off the gas in the second and that’s what set us up for failure throughout that game,” said Rockets head coach Kris Mallette in his postgame interview.

“First period, their second shot we broke down on the breakaway and battled back to get the lead going into the second. Guys were feeling it in the room, and I had a weird feeling, you know a little overconfident and then obviously Kamloops woke up. (Kamloops) didn’t do anything spectacular, they were just a more urgent team, and then their top line outplayed our top line.”

The Rockets entered the final frame down 4-2. Lucas Schelter would make things interesting, scoring at the 7:34 mark of the third to cut the deficit down to just one goal, but the Blazers had other plans, and kept on rolling with three more goals to take a 7-3 decision.

Saturday’s loss marked the seventh time this season the Rockets had a lead through 20 minutes of play and lost in regulation or overtime.

“It’s what the challenge with our group is, being able to separate ourselves from just being mediocre and just doing enough at times, and tonight it came back to bite us,” said Mallette.


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Kamloops forward Emmitt Finnie rattled off an impressive 4-goal night, with two tallies coming in the second frame and another two in the third.

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Rockets netminder Jari Kykkanen stopped 34 of 40 shots faced, as his group was badly outshot 41-29. The Rockets are now 24-25-3-0 but have a chance to get back to .500 on Tuesday when they host the Spokane Chiefs.

Saturday’s results

  • Moose Jaw 5, Calgary 2
  • Prince Albert 7, Brandon 3
  • Regina 9, Edmonton 4
  • Saskatoon 3, Swift Current 2
  • Medicine Hat 5, Red Deer 4
  • Portland 4, Seattle 1
  • Prince George 9, Victoria 6
  • Everett 7, Spokane 6
  • Vancouver 7, Wenatchee 2

Sunday’s games


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TRAIL 6, WEST KELOWNA 4

Three goals against in the first period proved to be costly for the West Kelowna Warriors Saturday night in Trail.

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The Warriors gave up two powerplay goals and an even-strength tally in the opening frame and went into period two down 3-1. In the second, the Warriors struggled to gain any ground, as both teams exchanged goals and the Warriors headed into the third down 4-2.

The Warriors would strike 7:27 into the third period to make it a one-goal game, but the hometown Smoke Eaters kept on pressing, adding two more goals before the final buzzer to win by a score of 6-4.

Trail went 2-for-3 with the man advantage, while West Kelowna’s powerplay operated at 100 per cent, going two-for-two.

Trail outshot the Warriors 30-28. The Warriors get back in action on Friday when they host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

PENTICTON 8, PRINCE GEORGE 0

The Penticton Vees gave their fans more than enough to cheer about Saturday night, steamrolling the Prince George Spruce Kings on the scoreboard and badly outshooting them.

The Vees tallied twice in the first period, four times in the second, and twice more in the final frame. They outshot the Spruce Kings 44-10 and kept the visitors from registering a single shot in period two.

Callum Arnott scored twice for the Vees. He leads the team in goals (22) and points (40). Billy Renfrew was named the game’s second star, dishing out four assists on the evening.

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With the win, the Vees are just two points back for first place in the BCHL league standings. They’ll host Vernon on Friday night.

VERNON 9, COWICHAN VALLEY 3

The Vernon Vipers have won three straight following a 9-3 win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Saturday.

The Vipers opened the scoring just over a minute into the contest, and never took their foot of the gas, scoring 4 goals in the first period, four in the second, and one more in the final frame.

Vipers forward Georgios Stavrianeas put up two goals and two assists and was named the game’s first star as a result. The Vipers outshot the Capitals 38-32, while their powerplay clicked twice in three attempts. The Vipers’ next game is against the Vees in Penticton on Friday.

Saturday’s results

  • Blackfalds 3, Brooks 2
  • Chilliwack 2, Coquitlam 1
  • Nanaimo 4, Victoria 0
  • Cranbrook 3, Merritt 1
  • Surrey 6, Alberni Valley 5 (OT)
  • Langley 4, Powell River 2

Sunday’s games

 

 

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