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Rockets spanked on road

The Kelowna Rockets saw their four-game winning streak end with a thud Saturday night.

The Rockets fell behind 4-0 in the first and were unable to come back in a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of the Vancouver Giants at the Langley Events Centre.

Brad Morrison, Tyler Benson, Ty Ronning and Tyler Popowich all lit the lamp behind James Porter during the opening 20 minutes, chasing the 17-year-old rookie after allowing four goals on 18 shots.

Fellow rookie Roman Basran made his Western Hockey League debut, replacing Porter to start the second period.

Basran, 16, allowed the final two goals on 19 shots.

Marek Skvrne scored the long goal for the Rockets, his first in the WHL, on a third period power play.

By then, it was too little, too late.

The Giants outshot the Rockets 37-27, and connected on both of their opportunities with the man advantage.

Th Rockets road swing continues with games in Spokane Wednesday and back in Vancouver Friday, before returning home to host the Medicine Hat Tigers next Saturday.



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Rockets perfect homestand

The Kelowna Rockets scored three unanswered goals over the final 12 minutes Friday in a 7-4 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes.

It was the Rockets seventh straight win on home ice, and allowed them to hit the road after a perfect four-game homestand.

Dillon Dube scored twice, including the game winner, when he snapped a 4-4 tie midway through the third.

James Hilsendager stretched the lead to two on the power play four minutes later before Conn or Bruggen-Cate sealed it into an empty net.

Kyle Topping, had a goal and two assists, while Liam Kindree and Leif Mattson also scored.

Cal Foote chipped in with four assists.

The Rockets jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, just as many of the 5,128 fans were getting comfortable in their seats.

Lethbridge narrowed the gap to 2-1 before the end of the period then two goals before the midway mark of the second gave them their only lead of the night.

Dube's first seconds later tied it before Topping gave the Rockets a 4-3 lead after 40.

Lethbridge again tied it early in the third, setting the stage for Kelowna's late rally.

James Porter turned aside 30 shots to secure the win.

The Rockets win leaves them four points in arrears of first place Victoria in the BC Division, after the Royals squeaked out a 1-0 win in Spokane. Kelowna still holds two games in hand.

They now hit the road for three, making stops in Vancouver Saturday, Spokane Wednesday and back in Vancouver Friday.

The Rockets next home game is a week Saturday when they welcome the Central Division leading Medicine Hat Tigers to town.



Rockets eke out win

The Kelowna Rockets did just enough to squeeze out a win over the cellar-dwelling Edmonton Oil Kings Tuesday at Prospera Place.

The Rockets had their way with the Oil Kings early in the first and third periods, and didn't need much more, rolling to a 5-2 victory.

While the game looked dull and uninspired, Rockets head coach Jason Smith said it was anything but.

"I think the game was pretty competitive on the ice. There was chirping between the benches, and guys were engaged," said Smith.

"Just because it's not a flashy, physical game, doesn't mean it isn't full of energy. I think the teams competing, and it was a descent hockey game."

Dillon Dube and linemate Carsen Twarynski each had two goals and an assist to pace the offence. Kyle Topping scored the other goal.

Liam Kindree, the third wheel on the big line with Dube and Twarynski, had two assists.

Kindree now has multiple points in three straight games, notching a goal and five assists over that span.

"It's still sinking in for me, passing the puck, and looking up and seeing Dube flying down the wing," said Kindree.

"It's something you find special, but then again, he's your linemate and you have to take it seriously. You're out there to perform and produce."

The line produced four of the five goals, including goals in the opening 30 seconds of the first and third.

On the first shift of the game, Twarynski appeared to chop the puck with one hand, sending Dube on a breakaway from the Edmonton blueline. His wrist shot from about 15 feet out beat Travis Child blocker side.

Kyle Topping made it 2-0 four minutes later, picking up his own rebound in the slot and beating Child along the ice.

After the Oil Kings got one back, Dube restored the two-goal lead, taking a pass from Kindree and streaking down the left wing. His shot from the left circle beat Child to the far side.

The Oil Kings made it close again with the lone goal of the second on a power play, but again, at the start of the third, it was the big line that increased the lead back to two.

A hard forecheck allowed the Rockets to keep the puck inside Edmonton's end. Dube stole the puck in the slot and, instead of shooting, found Twarynski at the edge of the crease. He chipped home his 11th of the season.

"Any time you can score a goal early in the period, it's good for momentum and good for the energy on the bench," said Smith.

"Guys have really talked between periods and at the start of the game to make sure we are coming out jumping and ready to play. It was good to start the game the right way and good to come out at the start of the third and score a goal."

Twarynski closed out the scoring into an empty net.

The Rockets have now won all three games on their current four game home stand, and have won six straight on home ice overall.

Tuesday;s win, coupled with Victoria's 5-3 loss at home to the Red Deer Rebels moves the Rockets to within four points of the BC Division leading Royals.

Kelowna has also played two fewer games.

They close out the home stand Friday when Lethbridge comes to town.

The Rockets will travel to Vancouver Saturday.



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Rockets look to drill Oil

The Kelowna Rockets continue a brief four-game home stand Tuesday night at Prospera Place when they welcome the Edmonton Oil Kings to town.

It's the second of four straight home dates against Central Division opponents, and first of two meetings between the two teams at Prospera Place this season.

The Rockets come into Tuesday's tilt o n a two-game winning streak after back-to-back wins over the weekend, while the Oil Kings, on the third game of a five-game BC Division road trip, have lost six straight.

Rockets assistant coach Kris Mallette hopes his club is able to build on recent success on home ice, where they've won five in a tow.

"We'll watch video of their last few games to get an idea of what their tendencies may be but our focus primarily will be about how we play," said Mallette.

"We'll then put a game plan together and it becomes up to the players to execute, and when they do we're a hard team to play against."

The Rockets close out their four-game home stand against Lethbridge Friday before heading to the coast to meet the Vancouver Giants Saturday.

They find themselves just six points in back to division leading Victoria. The Rockets hold two games in hand.



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