Kelowna Rockets hold on to win opener of East Division road trip

Rockets open trip in style

The Kelowna Rockets kicked off their five game East Division road trip on a winning note, holding off the Regina Pats 5-4 Saturday.

The Rockets built up a 5-2 lead three minutes into the third, then held off the charging Pats over the final 12 minutes.

Tij Igina and Hiroki Gojsik each scored twice for the Rockets while Gabriel Szturc added a goal and an assist in the win.

Defenceman Kayden Sadhra-Kang, playing just his second game with the team after being acquired in deal for Jackson DeSouza had an assist and was a plus four on the night.

The game was deadlocked 1-1 after one before the Rockets began flexing their offensive muscle.

Gojsik scored his first of two ripping a shot past Ewan Huet from the left circle on a three-on-two.

Iginla increased the lead to two later in the second when his shot from a sharp angle squeezed between Huet and the post.

Up just one heading into the third the combination of Gojsik and Iginla stretched the lead to three.

Gojsik banged home a rebound from the left faceoff circle three minutes into the third then Iginla tipped home Caden Price's shot to increase the lead to 5-2.

Parker Berge scored his second on a power play near the midway point of the period then made the final score look a little more respectable with a goal in the dying seconds.

Jari Kykkanen turned away 28 shots to earn the victory.

Kelowna again dressed just 17 skaters due to injury.

The win, the Rockets fifth in seven starts, moved into third place in the BC Division, two points better than Vancouver.

At the same time they handed the Regina Pats a defeat, leaving them ninth in the Eastern Conference.

That is significant in the fact that the Rockets hold the Pats first round selection in next spring's entry draft.

The Rockets road trip continues with stops in Moose Jaw Tuesday, Brandon Wednesday, Prince Albert Friday and Saskatoon Saturday.

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