Rockets fall to 2-11 since Christmas following lacklustre loss to Victoria

Rockets slump deepens

The Kelowna Rockets continue to tumble down the Western Conference standings.

Sunday, the Rockets saw their post-Christmas record fall to 2-11 in an uninspiring 5-1 defeat at the hands of the charging Victoria Royals.

Victoria's win moved them into a tie with the Rockets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the west.

Kelowna also slipped to 1-8-1-0 in their last 10 at home.

It was the third game in as many days for the Rockets, but the Royals, who had to travel overnight from Spokane were facing the same scenario.

"We should have been the fresher.. team, we should have been the hungrier team," said head coach Kris Mallette.

"They came as advertised. The first goal they got was what they do...they throw a puck into the neutral zone, get a good bounce, hoping a guy is cheating on the wrong side of it and sure enough that happened.

"Then our inability to play physical to stop the play while a team is skating circles around us."

The game was even until late in the first when the Royals scored three times in a span of three minutes and 10 seconds.

Teydon Trembecky skated onto a loose puck down the right wing and beat Talyn Boyko with a rising shot from the bottom of the right circle.

Marcus Almquist from the slot with what proved to be the winner, and Robin Sapoursek 62 seconds later with a backdoor one-timer gave the Royals a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.

There was no urgency in the Rockets game in the second period when they threw just five shots toward Braden Holt, or in the third when they were down five and managed just four shots.

Defenceman Jackson DeSouza spoiled Holt's shutout bid with his fifth of the season with three minutes left and the Rockets putting forth their most sustained pressure of the night.

Despite their recent troubles, Mallette says he remains positive the team will pull out of it.

"I'm not giving up on our group by any means

"We made some progress. Obviously we would have loved to have had two or three of these wins this weekend, but our group will be OK, we're going to get there.

"It's going to take some work and we're going to have to get back to it."

The Rockets are now off until the weekend when they again face the Vancouver Giants in back-to-back games Friday in Langley and Saturday back at Prospera Place.

Leading scorer Andrew Cristall missed his sixth game with a lower body injury.

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