Payworks Recap: Kykkanen picks up first WHL victory in Rockets 4-3 win over Royals
The Kelowna Rockets picked up their 20th win of the season with a 4-3 victory over the Victoria Royals on Wednesday night at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, BC.
Seventeen-year-old Jari Kykkanen made his WHL debut, starting in net for the Rockets. The Lloydminster, Alta. product picked up his first WHL win, turning aside 21 of the 24 shots he faced. Sticking in the milestone department, John Babcock notched his first WHL goal, while Pavel Novak inched closer to 100 career points with an assist, he sits at 99 heading into the weekend.
Kelowna held a 3-1 lead heading into the third period, the Royals responded with a pair of goals to tie it up early in the third. With time ticking away, overage defenceman Jake Lee scored the game-winner.
Scoreless after one, Andrew Cristall’s (11) snuck a weak backhand between the legs of Royals starter Tyler Palmer. Mark Liwiski (10) pulled a toe drag move to push the Rockets out to a 2-0 lead. Anthony Wilson (4) cut Kelowna’s lead in half. John Babcock (1) recorded his first WHL goal on a strange play, dumping the puck in along the glass, it ricocheted past Palmer into the Royals net.
Bailey Peach (24) and Matthew Hodson (2) pushed back with a pair of goals to tie the game early in the third. With 1:54 to play, Jake Lee (9) danced his way to fire off a wrist shot that held up as the game-winner.
Little shake and bake from Leezer.
— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) January 27, 2022
The Rockets outshot the Royals 49-24.
Both teams were 0-for-3 with the power play.
The Rockets record improves to 20-10-1-3, they currently sit second in the BC Division with 44 points.
Kelowna will be back in action on Friday when they head to Langley to face the Vancouver Giants, puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. You can watch all Rockets games on WHL Live on CHL TV. More are details available by visiting watch.CHL.ca.You can also listen to the game on AM1550.
The next Rockets home game is this Saturday, January 29 against the Vancouver Giants. Fans can purchase their tickets online at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050. The box office is open 11:00 a.m. to 4:00p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and opens at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday home game days.
All fans attending Rockets games will need to abide by the BC Provincial Health Authority, Prospera Place and the Western Hockey League‘s COVID-19 health and safety requirements which includes masks, double vaccination and their vaccine card.