Junior hockey: Rockets fall 5-4 to resilient Chiefs

Junior hockey: Rockets fall 5-4 to resilient Chiefs

February 8, 2019

The Kelowna Rockets put in a game effort on Wednesday night, but couldn’t overcome a resilient showing by the Spokane Chiefs.

At Prospera Place, of the four goals that Kelowna scored, Spokane replied quickly three times, dousing any hope of a Rockets’ comeback in the Chiefs’ 5-4 win.

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The Rockets opened the scoring at 3:38 of the first period, only to have the Chiefs reply at 5:02. In the second, with Spokane up 2-1, the Rockets levelled the game at 2:37. But at 4:15, the Chiefs scored to make it 3-2. And in the third, with Spokane up 4-2, the Rockets scored just 23 seconds into the frame to draw within one. However, at 2:08, the Chiefs restored their two-goal lead.

Luke Toporowski, with two goals, Connor Gabruch, Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Jake McGrew scored for Spokane (27-17-2-4), which led 2-1 and 4-2 at the period breaks.

Alex Swetlikoff, with two goals, Lassi Thomson and Nolan Foote, who closed out the scoring at 7:14 of the third, replied for Kelowna (21-26-4-1).

Roman Basran started for Kelowna, but played just over half the game, stopping 16 of 20 shots in 32:55. James Porter was 11-of-12 in relief. Reece Klassen stopped 29 of 33 shots for Spokane.

Spokane was 1-for-5 on the power play while Kelowna was 2-for-5. The attendance was 4,455.

Of the 52 games Kelowna has played this season, exactly half – 26 – have been one-goal games. And of those 26, the Rockets have won 13 times and lost 13 times.

The Rockets have two more games this week. They host Prince George (16-30-4-2) on Friday night, then visit Kamloops (20-25-4-1) on Saturday night.

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