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Kelowna Rockets lose in first ever trip to Winnipeg

Rockets streak ends at four

The Kelowna Rockets tasted defeat in regulation time for the first time in a month Wednesday.

Making their first trip to Winnipeg in the history of the franchise, the Rockets fell 3-1 to the Winnipeg Ice.

It was their first regulation loss in 10 games, dating back to a 5-2 defeat in Kamloops Nov. 11. Since then, the Rockets had gone 8-0-0-1.

Connor McClennon scored twice to pace the winners.

He snapped a scoreless tie, beating Cole Schwebius with less than three minutes to go in the second.

McClennon doubled the lead early in the third, before Jakin Smallwood  put the game out of reach midway through the third.

Jake Lee scored the lone goal for the Rockets two minutes later, sending a one-timer from the top of the left circle around a maze of bodies.

The Rockets played Wednesday without several key offensive players.

Nolan Foote remains at Canada's world junior selection camp, while Dillon Hamaliuk (illness), Liam Kindree (upper body) and Kyle Topping (lower body) also remain out.

Hamaliuk has been diagnosed with a virus and is out indefinitely.

"He's under the care of team doctors, who have shut him down to give him time to recover," said Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton.

Hamilton also provided injury updates on Topping and Kindree.

"Liam has been undergoing rehab and has resumed skating this week. Kyle's also undergoing rehab, and he's progressing well."

The Rockets get Thursday off before wrapping up the road trip with stops in Regina Friday and Moose Jaw Saturday.

They'll host Vancouver next Wednesday before taking a nine-day Christmas break.



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