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Cristall, Kykkanen lead Kelowna Rockets to victory to begin three-game road trip

Andrew Cristall collected four points, bringing his total to 51 on the season (20 goals, 31 assists)
Andrew Cristall collected four points as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Swift Current Broncos 5-2 on Wednesday night, Dec. 15. (@TheWHL/Twitter)

Jari Kykkanen stood on his head helping led the Kelowna Rockets to a 5-2 win over the Swift Current Broncos on Wednesday night (Dec. 15) to begin their three-game road trip.

It was a frantic first period that started with the Rockets top two prospects in defenceman Caden Price and forward Andrew Cristall both finding the back of the net, making it 2-0.

But just over two minutes after Cristall made it 2-0, the lead was cut in half when Josh Filmon scored on a penalty shot for the Broncos. A couple minutes after that, the Broncos tied the game at two to conclude a wild first period. Sam McGinley evened the game, assisted by Owen Pickering and Braeden Lewis.

The Rockets exploded in the second period, starting with Cristall scoring his second of the game and 20th of the season.

Dylan Wightman chimed in with his fifth goal of the season later in the period.

The newest member of the Rockets, Carson Golder, made it 5-2 in the final minute of the period with a powerplay goal, assisted by Cristall and Price, capping off a four-point night for Cristall.

Price and Golder each finished with one goal and one assist while defenceman John Babcock collected two assists himself.

With his four-point night, Cristall is up 51 points on the season (20 goals, 31 assists), He sits second in WHL scoring behind Regina Pats forward and good friend Connor Bedard (65). Cristall has his chance to catch Bedard over these next few days as Bedard is at the World Junior Hockey Championships with Team Canada.

The story in the third period was goaltender Kykkanen. In the third period alone, he made 19 saves as the Rockets got outshot 16-4 in the frame. In total, Kykkanen made 47 saves on 49 shots to earn his sixth win of the season.

Cristall, Kykkanen, and Price were the first, second, and third stars of the game. Cristall was also the second star of the night across the entire Canadian Hockey League.

With the win, the Rockets improve to 11-13-3-0 on the season, still eighth in the Western Conference. Swift Current falls to 12-15-0-1, 10th in the Eastern Conference.

The Rockets now travel to Alberta to take on the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday night. Puck drop is at 6 p.m. Pacific time at the Enmax Centre.

READ MORE: Kelowna Rockets begin three-game road trip in Swift Current

READ MORE: Kelowna Rockets Dach to debut at World Juniors


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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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