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Kelowna Rockets earned a point in an 8th straight game in a 6-5 shootout loss in Portland

Rockets battle, earn a point

It was a sense of deja vu all over again for the Kelowna Rockets and Portland Winterhawks.

Just as they did two weeks ago in their own building, the Rockets were forced to scratch and claw their way out of an early hole to at least earn a single point against the Winterhawks.

And, as was the case two weeks ago, the Winterhawks survived overtime and prevailed 6-5 in a shootout.

The Rockets trailed 5-1 midway through the second before finding their legs.

Jake Lee, playing with a cage after suffering a broken nose cut the deficit to three just before the end of the second.

Then, three unanswered in the third salvaged a point and forced overtime.

"I'm very proud of them," said head coach Kris Mallette of the comeback on the post game show.

"They were very resilient tonight."

Caden Price made it 5-3 early in the third. The Rockets won a battle for the puck deep inside the Portland end. The puck eventually made it's way to Price whose wrist shot from the left point beat Dante Giannuzzi in the Portland net.

Less than two minutes later Nolan Flamand ripped home a rebound on a Kelowna power play to cut the deficit to one.

Steel Quiring tied it with less than three minutes left. Turner McMillen intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and dropped the puck to Quiring who beat Giannuzzi to the far side.

The Rockets appeared to win it with less than two seconds left in overtime, but a shot from Pavel Novak rang off the crossbar.

Jaydon Dureau beat Colby Knight with the only goal of the shootout to preserve the win for the Winterhawks.

Portland led 2-1 after one and pushed the lead to 5-1 by the 13 minute mark of the second. The fifth goal spelled the end of the night for Talyn Boyko, who allowed five goals on 18 shots.

Knight shut the door the rest of the way.

"He did a hell of a job. He made a difference for us," said Mallette.

The Rockets have now secured points in eight straight, going 6-0-0-2 over that span.

The same two teams meet again Saturday in Portland.

"It will be a heck of a road trip if we come out tomorrow the way we ended the game tonight."

The Rockets conclude five straight on the road next Wednesday in Spokane before hosting the same Chiefs next Friday night.



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