56265
54032

WHL  

Rockets skid reaches five

Not even a visit from the Vancouver Giants was enough to snap the Kelowna Rockets out of their current doldrums.

The Giants snapped a 26-game losing streak at Prospera Place Wednesday, coming from behind to beat the Rockets 4-3 in overtime.

Alex Kannok Leipert scored the equalizer with less than four minutes to go in regulation time, then Tyler Benson scored the game winner with 1:04 to go in overtime when his shot from the low slot squeezed between James Porter's body and his right arm.

The Rockets were better than they have been earlier in this streak, but still not where head coach Jason Smith says they need to be.

"We've done some good things, but not for long enough to win games," said Smith.

"It's normally the team that plays a better game for the longest that wins, and we're not doing it long enough to win games right now. It's not major errors, it's little things."

He pointed to things like taking short shifts, managing the puck, defending with the stick on the ice and communicating...little things they need ti do better to turn things around.

The Rockets came out the first five minutes like they were going to run the Giants out of the building.

They pressured the Giants until Erik Gardiner dove head first onto the ice, extended his stick, and cued a loose puck past David Tendeck two minutes in to give the Rockets a 1-0 lead.

Once the two teams settled in, Vancouver started to take over a good chunk of the play.

They built a 2-1 lead when Ty Ronning tipped home a backdoor pass on a Vancouver power play 90 seconds into the second.

The Rockets responded when Carsen Twarynski's shot on a Kelowna power play deflected off a stick, hit the glass behind the net, bounced off the top of the net and eventually hit Tendeck and dropped into the net.

Twarynski gave the Rockets a one goal lead with his 42nd on another power play in the final minute of the second.

It looked like the goal would hold up as James Porter made several big stops in the final period to preserve the one-goal lead. He robbed Ronning then stoned James Malm on a partial breakaway before Kannok Leipert forced overtime.

"It's definitely frustrating we can't get a win," said Porter.

"With me, I'm playing good and feeling good about my game the past few games. But, there's always something you can be working on."

The Rockets did get some good news Wednesday, as the hard-charging Victoria Royals fell 5-2 to the Spokane Chiefs.

Victoria is now three points behind the BC Division-leading Rockets. Victoria has four games remaining in the season, the Rockets five.

Kelowna tries to snap their current losing streak Friday when they kick off a home-and-home with the Blazers Friday in Kamloops.

The two teams hook up again Saturday at Prospera Place.

 



More WHL articles

56350