Recap: Rockets fall to Winterhawks, 5-3
The Kelowna Rockets fell 5-3 to the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, OR.
Tied at two after two, the Winterhawks took their first lead of the game early into the third period. Portland had the chance to stretch out the lead by two on a penalty shut, but Rockets starter Jari Kykkanen came up with a big-time stop. Moments later Kelowna tied the game on a goal from Rilen Kovacevic, but Portland pushed back with the game-winning goal. The Winterhawks added an empty netter in the final minute of the game.
The Rockets played with seventeen skaters, including five defencemen. Max Graham, Colton Dach and Elias Carmichael were all out with injuries, while defenceman Noah Dorey served a one-game suspension for slew footing in Friday night’s game.
The Rockets recorded only two shots on net in the opening frame, with John Babcock (1) finding the back of the net 8:57 into the game on the Rockets first shot. Nearly ten minutes later, James Stefan (4) tied the game on a shot from the left faceoff circle.
Import goaltender Jan Špunar played the puck outside of the trapezoid behind the net, giving the Rockets a power play. It took Kelowna just 14 seconds to capitalize on the power play, with the rebound popping out to Gabriel Szturc (6). Aidan Litke (2) responded for Portland tying it. Adam Kydd scored on yet another power play in the final seconds of the second period, but it was called back due to contact made with Špunar.
Gabe Klassen (9) tucked the puck between Rockets goaltender Jari Kykkanen’s pads to give Portland their first lead of the game. Stefan was awarded a penalty shot attempt after a Rocket skater closed his hand on, but Kykkanen shut the door. Moments later, Rilen Kovacevic (4) danced his way around a Winterhawk to fire a shot past Špunar from the left faceoff dot. Carter Sotheran (1) dashed the Rockets hopes of at least picking up a point in overtime by scoring his first WHL goal with 2:47 to go in the game.
- Portland outshot Kelowna 48 to 15, it’s the least amount of shots Kelowna has recorded in a game this seaon
- The Rockets were 1/4 on the power play while the Winterhawks were 0/1
- The Rockets record moves to 4-7-1-0
- Andrew Cristall posted two assists, while Gabriel Szturc recorded an assist and a goal
- Kykkanen stopped 43 of the 47 shots fired on him, his record is now 3-3-1-0
The next Rockets home game is Saturday, November 5th when the Kamloops Blazers will visit Prospera Place for the first time this regular season.
Single-game tickets for all Rockets home games are on sale at Select Your Tickets. Tickets can be purchased online through www.selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office, or by phone at 250-762-5050.
Mini Packs are now on sale for the 2022-23 season, pick from between a six or twelve-game pack. Click here to learn more about Mini Packs.