Kelowna bounces back with home-ice win over Kamloops

Solid 5-1 victory at Prospera Place Saturday night and the Rockets and Blazers split two to open the WHL season

The Rockets won their home opener 5-1 over Kamloops to split a home and home between the two teams.

The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Kamloops Blazers 5-1 on Saturday night at Prospera Place in the team’s home opener for the 2016-17 WHL season.

After dedicating the game to late game official Norbert Heinzelmann, the Rockets stormed out of the gates and scored two first period goals.

Jordan Bortsmayer cleaned up a rebound in the middle of the frame, and two minutes later Jonathan Smart capitalized on a Rockets 5 on 3 powerplay.

Blazers started the game with netminder Dylan Ferguson, but after a tough first period they opted to swap goaltenders for the start of the second.

Carter Phair relieved Ferguson to start the middle frame.

The Rockets came out just as hard in the second period, putting three more past Phair to push the score to 5-0 by the end of the period.

Riley Stadel matched last seasons goal total with two goals in the period, and Tanner Wishnowski also scored for the Rockets in the second period.

The Blazers made a small push late in the third period but it wasn’t enough as the Rockets rebound from a rough start to the season, by punishing the Blazers in the rubber match.

Kelowna rebounded after the disappointing season opener Friday in Kamloops to even its record at 1-1-0-0 on the season.

Michael Herringer earned his first win of the season in net as the Rockets outshot Kamloops 33-26 in the game.

The Rockets struck for two power play goals on five chances while holding Kamloops to 1-for-5 with the man advantage.

The Rockets are back in action on Wednesday when they host the Prince George Cougars at Prospera Place in Kelowna.