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Kelowna Rockets won second straight, 4-1 in Tri-City

Rockets sweep weekend

The Kelowna Rockets have pulled even with the Vancouver Giants in the battle for sixth in the Western Conference following a 4-1 victory Saturday in Tri-City.

The win coupled with the Giants 3-2 loss in Kamloops pulled the teams even just five points in back of fifth place Victoria with time running out in the regular season.

Kelowna has eight games left in the regular season including a season-ending home-and-home with the Giants. Vancouver has nine left, Victoria seven.

Jari Kykkanen, making his 11th straight start, was spectacular in the final period as the Americans peppered 16n shots his way in an effort to come back from a 4-0 deficit.

He gave up one, but nothing more.

Andrew Cristall with a goals and an assist led the Rockets offensively.

Tij Iginla, Brett Calhoon and Max Graham with his third goal in two games also scored for the Rockets. Caden Price had a pair of assists.

Cristall opened the scoring late in the first period on a power play. He took a pass just inside the blue line, skated into the left circle and wired a wrist shot past Americans netminder Kyle Kelsey.

The Rockets broke the game open with three unanswered in the second.

Iginla worked off the wall, fed Michael Cicek in front whose initial shot was stopped. However, Iginla circled the net, found the rebound and tucked it into the open side.

Calhoon from the right circle and Graham with a one-timer from the slot put the Rockets up 4-0 propelling them to the victory.

The Rockets now head home to face the same Americans Wednesday before facing Kamloops in a weekend home-and-home set.

Prior to the game captain Gabriel Szturc inked a three-year entry level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Szturc, who went undrafted, was a training camp invite in the summer.

While the Lightning didn't release terms of the deal, the website capfriendly.com pegs the value of the contract at $2.325 million over the three years at the NHL level and $82,500 per year in the minors.

It also includes a signing bonus of $95,000 per year.



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