The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Kamloops Blazers 1-0 on Friday night in WHL preseason action at Prospera Place in Kelowna in the first of a weekend double-header between the teams.
After 20 hard fought minutes the two teams were scoreless. Shots were 16-6 for Kamloops after the first period.
The battling continued for another full period but neither team could break the deadlock. After two periods of play the score remained 0-0. Shots were 25-15 for the Blazers through 40 minutes.
Goalies at both ends held the door shut until Kamloops took a checking from behind minor with 1:26 to go in the final frame.
Kelowna capitalized on the man advantage, finally solving Kamloops’ goaltender Max Palaga with 30.8 seconds remaining as James Hilsendager blasted a point shot that found its way through. Assists on the power play marker went to Leif Mattson and Colum McGauley. The Rockets escaped with a 1-0 victory.
Cody Porter and James Porter split time in between the pipes for Kelowna. Cody stopped all 21 shots he faced, and James stopped the following 11 shots as the two combined for a shutout. Kamloops outshot Kelowna 32-20.
Kelowna closes out the preseason tonight in Kamloops when they head to the McArthur Island Sports Centre for the second half of the double header versus the Blazers.
The Rockets have a 13 day break between games following this weekend before they open up the regular season at home on Friday, Sept. 22, when they host the Kamloops Blazers at Prospera Place. Puck drop is at 7:05pm.
Tickets are available for Rockets home games through selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.