- Wednesday's win over the Tri City Americans was the result of hard work and solid team play. Individual play crept into the Kelowna Rockets game Friday night in a 2-1 home ice loss to the visiting Victoria Royals. The Royals scored the game winning goal on the power play in the third period and then did everything in their power to escape with a one goal win. Whether it was blocking shots, getting into shooting lanes or simply out hustling the Rockets, the Royals did whatever it took for their first win in seven games.
- The game featured four fights with the first one developing just 2:30 into the first period when Mitchell Chapman engaged with the Royals Tim Traber. Chapman cut Traber with a solid right that sent the veteran to the dressing room for repairs. Less than two minutes later Tyrell Goulbourne tussled with Jesse Zgraggen after the 17 year-old Rockets forward initiated a solid hit on Victoria defenceman Jesse Pauls.
- The best fight came in the second period when Rockets forward Colton Heffley traded blows with Austin Carroll. Both players took several hard shots to the face yet traded punches back and worth in one of the best scraps we have seen at Prospera Place this season.
- The Rockets were fortunate to get out of the first period in a scoreless tie after Royals forward Kevin Sundher missed on a shorthanded breakaway. Goaltender Jordon Cooke, making his second straight start at home, made a nice right pad save as the 19 year-old stayed on the forehand and attempted to fire it low to Cooke's blocker side.
- The Royals would open the scoring on a Robin Soudek goal that appeared to go off defenceman Kevin Smith's stick before beating Cooke to the short side. Soudek would score the winner on a 5 on 3 power play in the third period after Rockets forward Jessey Astles received a five minute major and game misconduct for a hit to the head on Royals d-man Jesse Zgraggen. Brett Bulmer would take a penalty four minutes later resulting in the visitors scoring the game winner with 22 seconds left on the two man advantage. You would think Astles will be suspended for the hit.
- With a little less than 12 minutes left in the game, the Rockets attempted to battle back but they simply were unable to execute like we saw in Wednesday's 6-2 win over Tri City. Even a two minute power play with five minutes left in the game produced little in the way of quality chances on goal. If their was a good scoring chance with the game on the line, Victoria goaltender Keith Hamilton was up to the challenge.
- The Rockets are now 1-3-1-0 in the five game seasonal series. The two teams meet again in Victoria next month.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Rockets' fall in one goal game
(Photo by Marissa Baecker)