Jan 11, 2013 / 5:00 am
It was quite a day for the Kelowna Fripp Warehousing Jr. Rockets Thursday.
The hosts improved to 3-0 at the 34th annual Kelowna International Midget Hockey Tournament beating Semiahmoo out of White Rock 6-4 in the morning and following that up with a 5-3 win over Okanagan Hockey Academy from Penticton in the evening.
It was the opening game of the day that caught most people's attention.
After opening the scoring early in the first the Jr. Rockets gave up four straight goals to fall behind 4-1 after just 20 minutes.
They chipped away at the deficit in the second, eventually tying it up on Tanner Campbell's second of the period.
The Jr. Rockets scored two more in the third including a shorthanded goal from Ryan Lawson with less than two minutes remaining to seal the win.
"The first period this morning we fell asleep but it was a good character win coming back from a 4-1 deficit," says head coach Eric Blais.
"Between periods we just told them to relax, calm down and play our game. I thought they did a good job."
Thursday night against OHA the Rockets came out flying and, except for a brief spell late in the third, they were in total control.
Five different players found the back of the net as the Rockets built up a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes and pushed it to 5-1 in the third before a pair of late goals made the score respectable.
Unlike their opening two games when the power-play was able to generate three goals, the Rockets were shutout over six opportunities with the man advantage.
Blais gave OHA credit for shutting down his power-play.
"They took away all the shooting lanes. We got some shots through, but they weren't good quality shots," says Blais.
Things get tougher now for the Rockets as they take on perennial powers Notre Dame Hounds Friday night and the undefeated Burlington Eagles Saturday.
The Rockets will be looking for some semblance of revenge against the Hounds who rode them out of the rink a year ago to the tune of 10-0.
The Rockets and Burlington are tied atop their division with three straight wins. Notre Dame is next at 2-1.
Kelowna will earn one of the two semi-final berths with one more win.
Over in the other division, perennial powers Thunder Bay lead the way with two wins and an overtime loss, good for seven points.
Pursuit of Excellence out of Kelowna is next with a 2-1 record (six points) followed by Calgary Edge with a win, a loss and an overtime win good for five points.
Defending champion Wenatchee Wild finally got their first win of the tournament Thursday night, pounding Surrey Thunder 11-2.
Round robin play continues Friday and wraps up Saturday morning at both Rutland and Memorial Arena.
The top two teams will advance to Saturday night's semi-finals at the Rutland Arena with the championship game Sunday at 12:30 back at Memorial Arena.
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