Sep 2013 29

Royals Comeback On Rockets

Posted in Featured, Sports

It was a game that started slow but finished in a flurry of action, as the Kelowna Rockets and Victoria Royals met for the first time this season at Prospera Place on Saturday night.  It would be the Royals that would steal a victory away with a 4-3 shootout win snapping their three slide.

“I thought Victoria played hard and we didn’t,” said Rockets Head Coach Ryan Huska.  “We feel the three games we’ve had; we’ve probably played two good periods in those three games, so it’s not enough right now.”

After both clubs didn’t record a shot on goal until the 4:40 mark, the Rockets would open the scoring as Zach Franko would tally his first of the season after some pretty passing behind the net from Riley Stadel and Myles Bell at the 8:03 mark.

The Royals would turn the momentum late in the period as the Rockets appeared to tire.  The visitors would tie the game when rookie Landon Welykholowa knocked home a big rebound off a Jordan Cooke pad save at the 18:15 mark.

In the second frame the Rockets would dominate play with 21 shots directed at Royals goaltender Coleman Vollrath, scoring twice.  The sparkplug for the Rockets early was Rourke Chartier who was rewarded for his work on a four on four, tick tack toe passing play with Ryan Olson. Chartier would net his third of the season at the 3:47 mark.

Then with 45 seconds left in the period, Myles Bell streaking down the left wing would notch his first of the season from Franko and Olson on a wrist shot that found the far corner.

Down 3-1 heading into the third the Royals came out flying, pushing the Rockets back on their heels like in the first period.  They would bring the score within one, 3-2 early in the period as Trent Lofthouse scored his first of the season with Olson in the box at 4:17.  It’s the first power play goal the Rockets have given up this season. They would then tie it at 15:13 as Brandon Fushimi smacked a bouncing puck over the glove hand of Cooke for his second of the campaign and ultimately would force the game to overtime.

“We’ve done a lot of standing around and I don’t think we’re very physical at all,” says Huska.  And I don’t mean physical in regards to fighting or necessary hitting but winning battles.  We’re looking for things to be pretty easy right now.”

The overtime period saw end to end to action, with the Rockets killing off a four on three penalty, but neither team could light the lamp, forcing a shootout.

All three Royals’ shooters would score in the shootout and hand the Rockets their first loss of the season.  Ben Walker would get the shootout winner.

“Tonight was gross,” continued Huska.  “The first and third periods weren’t good hockey.”

The Rockets (2-0-0-1) will play three games in four night starting Wednesday in Everett.

Photo courtesy of Shoot The Breeze Photography

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