Bulmer special in Rockets debut

Brett Bulmer showed why coach Ryan Huska calls him one of the best players in the Western Hockey League.

Bulmer, making his first appearance in a Rockets jersey this season after being sent back to junior by the NHL's Minnesota Wild, had 2 goals and 2 assists in his debut.

Unfortunately, it came in a losing effort as the Rockets fell 6-5 in a shootout to the Portland Winterhawks.

Portland never led during the game until Sven Bartschi beat Jordon Cooke with a low blocker wrist shot on the final shot of the shootout.

Bulmer, Shane McColgan and Filip Vasko all failed to score on Mac Carruth who replaced 16-year-old rookie Brendan Burke for the shootout.

But, all eyes were on Bulmer who played nine games with the NHL's Wild before being sent back to the Rockets earlier in the week.

Bulmer opened the scoring with a shorthanded effort in the opening period.

He then picked up assists on second period goals by McColgan and Zach Franko which gave the Rockets a 3-1 lead.

Bulmer then gave the Rockets a 5-4 lead with less than seven minutes left in regulation time.

He grabbed the puck in front of his own bench, blew past defenceman Derrick Pouliot then outwaited Burke for his second of the night.

Ty Rattie scored his second of the night four-and-a-half minutes later, the fourth time the Winterhawks even the score, and forced overtime.

Franko also scored twice for the Rockets.

William Wrenn, Tyler Wotherspoon and Brad Ross scored the other goals for Portland.

Cooke, making just his third start of the season was spectacular despite the loss.

He faced 48 shots on the night and made several key saves, beating Ross on a breakaway and Charles Wells on a penalty shot, both in the second period.

Huska says it was a frustrating night.

"We responded well all night. That's the tough part," says Huska.

"Certain times we need more composure when we have the puck."

The Rockets had several chances to extend the lead in the second period when they were handed three consecutive power-plays while holding a 3-1 lead, however, they were unable to generate much offence, in fact, allowing the Winterhawks to get a shorthanded goal to climb back into the game.

The Rockets finished 1-7 with the man advantage while Portland went 0-3, including a power-play opportunity in overtime.

The loss is the third straight for the Rockets who do move a bit closer to third place Vancouver with the single point.

The Rockets get a chance to even the score with the Winterhawks when the two teams meet again Saturday night at Prospera Place.

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