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Kelowna Rockets dropped their season opener, 6-3 in Victoria Friday

Rough start for Rockets

A Victoria Royals team supposed to be shy on goal scoring looked anything but Friday night.

The Royals made the most of their 18 shots, dumping the visiting Kelowna Rockets 6-3 in the Rockets season opener.

Victoria erased a 1-0 lead with five straight goals, including four on just five shots in the second period.

Brayden Schuurman scored three times including the game clincher into an empty net, and added an assist to pace the Royals attack.

Pavel Novak, who arrived in Kelowna from the Minnesota Wild training camp after the pre season ended, scored twice for the Rockets. Nolan Flamand also scored for the Rockets.

On the post game broadcast, Rockets head coach Kris Mallette said the Rockets seemed to be cheating the game at time, turning over the puck while heading up the ice.

It came back to bite them, he said.

"We didn't give up a lot, but what we did were great Grade A opportunities," said Mallette.

Cole Schwebius got the start for the Rockets, but was pulled after allowing the fifth goal.

Mallette said

"We did Cole Schwebius a disservice. Were there some he would potentially want back, yea, but a two-on-zero, a few almost breakaways and great opportunities that we gave them."

Kelowna got goals from Flamand and Novak later in the second to pull to within two, and had several great opportunities in the third, but were unable to get any more past Tyler Palmer in the Victoria net.

Kelowna outshot the Royals 36-18 on the night.

The same two teams meet again Saturday in Victoria.

The Rockets could have a new face in the lineup for Saturday's game.

Newly acquired Colton Dach was sent back to Kelowna from the Chicago Blackhawks training camp. He's making his way to the island, and is expected to make his Rocket debut.



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