It was a banner night for the Kelowna Rockets, as they opened defense of their Western Hockey League title.
After a spectacular opening ceremony which saw the raising of the Western Division and League championship banners, the Rockets used the new league rules to their advantage, beating the visiting Vancouver Giants 3-2 in a shootout.
Justin Keller scored for the Rockets in the shootout, while goaltender Derek Yeomans, playing for the first time since a season ending knee injury back in May, stopped all three Vancouver shooters.
The victory proved pre season results are meaningless once the regular season gets underway. The Rockets were 0-4 in exhibition play, while the Giants were 8-0.
Kirt Hill and Mike Card scored for the Rockets, both in the 2nd period. Mitch Bartley scored both Vancouver goals, as the Giants raced out to a quick 2-0 lead in the opening period.
The Giants outshot the Rockets 38-21.
Neither team was able to score on the power-play.
The Rockets will host Portland Saturday night, 7 pm at Prospera Place.
Banner Night For Rockets
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- Rockets schedule change Sep 26
- Wild head coach suspended Sep 25
- DeSouza returned to team Sep 24
- Jittery Rockets fall in OT Sep 23
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- Honouring first responders Sep 19
- Book closed on pre season Sep 16
- Rockets fall to Giants Sep 15
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- Rockets fall in opener Sep 8