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WHL  

Kelowna Rockets finally get Blazers number

Rockets take out Kamloops

The Kelowna Rockets snapped a number of losing streaks Saturday night at Prospera Place.

Their 4-3 win over the Kamloops Blazers snapped an overall four-game losing streak, as well as a four-game skid this season against the Blazers.

It also ended the Blazers 10-game winning streak over the Rockets - a streak that stretched into last season.

"When you lose four like that, it seems like some guys just needed that game to happen, get it over with, and prove to themselves and the whole group that if we play the right way against a real good hockey team, well give ourselves a chance to win," said Rockets head coach Adam Foote, who was pleased with the entire sixty minute effort.

Along with breaking some losing streaks, the Rockets also got contributions from two players who hadn't found the scoresheet in a while.

Dillon Hamaliuk snapped an 11-game goalless drought, while Kyle Crosbie scored his first of the season in his 11th game.

"It's just a lot of three-on-threes that kind of made it a little sore. I wasn't used to that," said Hamaliuk.

"I had eight months off, but now I barely feel it. It feels good out there, and i just have to keep strengthening it."

The Blazers opened the scoring on a power play eight minutes in, but less than six minutes later, Jake Poole, with one hand on the stick, deflected Jake Lee's point shot to even it a 1-1.

A minute 16 later, Michael Farren found Hamaliuk at the Blazers blueline. Hamaliuk streaked into the left circle and beat Dylan Garand to the far side for his seven of the campaign.

Ryan Hughes got the equalizer for the Blazers late in the period.

The Rockets had the better of the play during the second period, and were rewarded early when Nolan Foote broke up a play at the Kamloops blueline. The puck went to Leif Mattson who found Crosbie alone in front for his first of the year.

Late in the period, just second after the Blazers got away with a blatant no call on what should have been a slashing penalty, Orrin Centazzo tied it when he banged home a rebound.

Foote said after the game the official admitted they missed the penalty call.

"They're human. You usually don't hear they missed one, but we'll take it.

"I respect that he came over. We said don't worry about it, you have to fight through it. That's good that you have to fight through adversity."

Alex Swetlikoff bagged the winner 13 minutes into the third, backhanding a loose puck after a wild scramble in front of Garand. It was his fourth goal in six games.

With Pavel Novak serving the first game of an eight game suspension, the Rockets got contributions from up and down the lineup.

Poole, in his first season in the WHL, had a goal and an assist, giving him five points in his last five games.

"I'm getting more confident on the ice with each shift, but it's all thanks to my linemates," said Poole.

"Ethan Ernst, we're been playing good together, there's lots of chemistry. And, Trevor Wong too. We've had lots of chances. It's just easy to play with these guys because they're so smart."

Saturday's win moves the Rockets back into third spot in the BC Division, a point better than the Victoria Royals.

The Rockets and Royals will face each other again Wednesday at Prospera Place.



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