Captain Chris Ray scored the only goal in the shootout, leading the Kelowna Rockets to a 3-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers before yet another full house at Prospera Place Friday night.
In a game in which neither team had anything to play for, the Rockets were the better team, but again found a way to make it closer than it should have been.
The Rockets, who will miss the playoffs for the first time in franchise history were playing for pride, while the Blazers will finish second in the B.C. Division of the WHL.
Myles MacRae and Colin Long scored four-and-a-half minutes apart early in the second period to stake the Rockets to a 2-0 lead.
But, as has been their habit all season long, the Rockets were unable to hang on to the lead.
C.J. Stretch got the Blazers on the board during a five-on-three power-play early in the final period. Brady Mason forced overtime, beating Torrie Jung high to the glove side off a bad giveaway with just 1:42 left in the third.
Ray cut in from the right side, beating Kamloops goaltender Dylan Flette low to the stick side.
"I've been going there all the time. I used to always go top corner, but the last five breakaway or shootout chances I've had I've scored stock side, so why not keep doing what's been working," says Ray of the winning goal.
He says he was proud of the way the team played with nothing on the line.
"Neither team had a lot to play for, but you gotta be proud of the guys. It was a good effort, unfortunately it was a little too late in the season."
Both teams finished the game with 29 shots. The Blazers outshot Kelowna 5-1 in overtime.
The Rockets were 1-4 with the man advantage. Kamloops went 1-8.
The Rockets close out the season Saturday night against the Prince George Cougars.
Saturday's game will be the last junior game for Ray, Clayton Barthel and David Schulz, all of whom graduate following the game.
Rockets Win In A Shootout
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