Jagger Firkus' late power play goal lifted Moose Jaw past the Rockets

Late goal sinks Rockets

The Kelowna Rockets were 18 seconds away from stealing at least a single point away from the Moose Jaw Warriors Saturday night at Prospera Place.

They came up empty handed.

Jagger Firkus scored his second on the night, a one-timer on a backdoor play on a Moose Jaw power play with 18 ticks left in regulation time to lead the visiting Warriors to a 4-3 victory over the Rockets.

Kelowna had battled their way back from a 3-1 third period deficit to tie it, but a questionable charging penalty to Max Graham with less than two to go in regulation let the dangerous Moose Jaw go to work.

They made no mistake as they had all night, connecting on three of five chances with a Rocket in the box as special teams dictated the outcome of this one.

"At the end of the day our penalty kill didn't get it done. The power play, we got one goal, but a little cold as well," said Rockets head coach Kris Mallette.

The power play had a golden opportunity to get the Rockets rolling early. Already up 1-0 on Will Munro's first career WHL goal, the Rockets were gifted a full two minutes five-on-three advantage.

But, they generated nothing in the way of good chances, killing any momentum they had built up to then.

"I liked our start...I thought we came out with some jam. Then we get an opportunity of the five-on-three, and any momentum from that point was definitely lost.

"From that point, the kill in the first then the whole second period, I thought we were just afraid to make a mistake which ultimately cost us on the long run."

Firkus, who also picked up a pair of assists, tied it 13 minutes into the first, then set up Brayden Yager's first of two on a Warriors power play 57 seconds into the second.

Yager made it 3-1 on another power play hitting the empty net with Jari Kykkanen down and out after making a save at the far post.

The Rockets mounted a comeback in the third. Andrew Cristall notched his 16th, using a defenceman as a screen to beat Jackson Unger on a Kelowna power play midway through the third.

Then Colton Dach intercepted a pass inside the Warriors blue line, turned a wired a wrist shot past a startled Unger.

Dach had a chance to give the Rockets the lead moments later, but missed from about 15 feet out facing a wide open cage.

"There was a lot of spin on the puck. It's on me, I need to score goals so it's on me not putting that in the net," said Dach.

"I like the fact we were 18 seconds away from potentially getting a point where, I felt our group didn't play often," added Malette.

The Rockets have a few days to put the taste of this one behind them before the Connor Bedard travelling road show rolls into town.

The building will be completely sold out for the first time since Dec. 27, 2019.

"It's going to be nice to have the fans. It doesn't matter who we're playing against, we have to play a hard 60 and be competitive out there," said Dach.

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