Sep 16, 2012 / 8:51 am
The Kelowna Rockets closed out the Western Hockey League preseason with a convincing 8-1 win over the Tri-City Americans Saturday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna.
The Rockets received a boost from their two newly acquired 20-year-olds J.T. Barnett and Dylen McKinlay.
Barnett scored three times and McKinlay chipped in with a goal and two assists.
Also scoring in the onslaught were Myles Bell with two along with Austin Ferguson and Carter Rigby who scored once.
Barnett's impact was felt immediately. After the Rockets fell behind 1-0 in the first 20 seconds, he brought the Rockets even when he was sent in on a partial breakaway in the first minute and fired a quick shot into the corner for a 1-1 tie.
Midway through the first McKinlay took a nice pass from Tyson Baillie and fired a shot into the top corner to give the Rockets the lead.
On Thursday the Rockets gave up a fifth round bantam pick to acquire McKinlay and scooped Barnett off waivers from Everett.
The Rockets other roster addition, 17-year-old 6-foot-5 defenceman Mitchell Wheaton made his presence felt by adding some strong physical play along with one assist.
The Rockets finish the preseason at 2-2-0-2 and will begin the 2012-13 WHL regular season with a home and home series against the Kamloops Blazers.
The Rockets visit Kamloops next Friday then host the Blazers in their home opener on Saturday at Prospera Place.
--with files from Kevin Parnell
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