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Emmitt Finnie scored four times leading Kamloops past the Rockets 7-3

Rockets frustrating in loss

"Frustrated. Disappointed."

Those were the words Kelowna Rockets head coach Kris Mallette used to describe his team's effort in a 7-3 loss to the visiting Kamloops Blazers Saturday at Prospera Place.

The Rockets were by far the better team in the opening 20 minutes taking a 2-1 lead into the dressing room but the wheels fell off over the final 40 as the Blazers scored six times for the runaway victory.

"We took our foot off the gas in the second period and it set us up for failure throughout that game," said Mallette.

"Guys were feeling it in the room but I had a weird feeling a little overconfident then obviously Kamloops woke up. They didn't do anything spectacular but were a more urgent team and their top line outplayed our top line."

The Blazers actually opened the scoring against the run of play when Kai Matthew buried his first of two beating Jari Kykkanen on a deke to the backhand on a breakaway.

Andrew Cristall tied it with a one timer from the left circle on a delayed penalty and Kykkanen on the bench for an extra attacker.

Caden Price gave the Rockets their only lead of the night sending a wrist shot past Jesse Sanche on a Kelowna power play.

But, it was all Blazers in the second.

Finnie with a tip in at 5:28, Harrison Brunicke from the point on a power play at 12:30 and Finnie again with a seeing-eye backhand after circling the net at 15:53 put the Blazers up 4-2 after 40.

Luke Schelter pulled the Rockets to within one seven minutes into the third but were unable to get any closer.

"Then a squeaker that beats Jari unfortunately from a bad angle. The sails came down, you could feel it. You try and build it back up but then they push and try to do too much. We just weren't working together."

Finnie with his hat trick goal from that sharp angle that deflected off Kykkanen's pad and in, Matthew with his second and Finnie again into an empty net sealed it for the Blazers who outshot Kelowna 41-29 on the night with 33 of those over the final 40 minutes.

"It's what the challenge is with our group being able to separate ourselves from just being mediocre and just doing enough at time and tonight it came back to bite us," said Mallette.

"We're a very effective team when we're firing and doing simple things but I thought the second period in particular we didn't want the puck on our stick. We were throwing it away and when we did throw it away we didn't get it back."

The Rockets now prepare for the arrival of the Spokane Chiefs Tuesday a team that has scored 19 on the Rockets in three meetings this season.



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