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Rockets clinch BC Division title

Tyrell Goulbourne continues to score big goals at big times.

Goulbourne brought the Prospera Place crowd of more than 6,000 to their feet with a spectacular goal late in the second period leading the Kelowna Rockets to a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Kamloops Blazers.

The win clinches the Rockets second BC Division title in three years and assured themselves home ice advantage for at least the opening two rounds of the playoffs.

Goulbourne took a feed from Henrik Nyberg at his own blue line and sped his way down the left wing. He put an inside/outside move on a pair of defenceman and beat Cole Cheveldave with a well placed wrist shot to the far side.

Some in the press box compared the goal to something you might see from Jerome Iginla.

"Before and after practices I've been working on my shot and a little bit on my hands. It was just a spur of the moment kind of thing where I saw an opening and I went for it," says Goulbourne.

"Whenever you get compared to your favourite player - your idol it's always a good feeling."

Goulbourne had a chance to add to his goal total when he was sprung in all alone but was unable to beat Cheveldave who kicked out the right pad to make the save.

Colton Sissons opened the scoring with his 26th of the year on a power-play late in the opening period.

Damon Severson's wrist shot from the right circle hit a Kamloops player and deflected right to Sissons who's one-timer beat Cheveldave.

Brendan Ranford cut the deficit in half midway through the third period when his wrist shot from the right circle beat a screened Jordon Cooke.

Ranford had two or three glorious chances after that but was thwarted by Cooke

"He found some openings tonight - we know he's a good player  and they have a couple of good lines," says Cooke.

"We tried to shut them down as much as we could tonight. It was one of those nights where I got lucky or the Gods were on my side."

The Rockets came into the home-and-home set with the Blazers losers of four straight against Kamloops and, with losses to Portland and Spokane, there were doubts creeping in as to whether the team could beat the top tier clubs.

Head coach Ryan Huska says both wins were good for the team psyche.

"I think it puts us in the right mind set moving forward. There were a lot of questions around us if we could beat the good teams since our games with Portland," says Huska.

"Every team goes through their ups and downs and we have a team that does believe in themselves. It was good for our room for sure."

Coming off a less than spectacular effort against Victoria three nights earlier Huska says it was an important weekend for the team.

"I thought it was a good game all around tonight. I thought we competed hard and that was important for us," says Huska.

"This was a weekend we wanted to show them that we can play with you a little bit. It was good to get the division title at home."

With the division title now clinched Huska has a chance to rest some players over the final three games of the regular season.

While he says he doesn't necessarily believe in resting players for the sake of resting them he will do what's best for the team over their final three games against Prince George Thursday and Vancouver Friday and Saturday.

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