For 40 minutes on Saturday night, it appeared the Kelowna Rockets were going to give its fans a victory to celebrate during the home opener of the Rockets Western Hockey League season.
But the Kamloops Blazers had other ideas. The Blazers scored three times in the third period to comeback and win 3-2, handing the Rockets a pair of losses to the Blazers to open the 2012-13 WHL season, after Kamloops won 6-5 in overtime Friday night
“We didn’t attack the game (on Saturday)” said Rockets head coach Ryan Huska, whose team led 2-0 after two periods on goals by Zach Franko and Filip Vasko. “In the third they came at us and we didn’t have that push that we needed to have. That is something that we need to work on and address.”
Despite a pair of losses to rival Kamloops, Franko said the close games showed that the Rockets are going to be abel to compete against the league’s better teams.
“I think we showed that this year we are into it,” said Franko. “From line one to four and all of our D, we have a good team. Discipline is huge though. We can’t allow teams to have as many power plays as we did in those two games and thats what cost us.”
The Rockets are back to work at practice this week ahead of a pair of road games in Portland this weekend against another team expected to be at or near the top of the WHL standings.
The teams play Friday and Saturday in Portland before the Rockets will return home to face Vancouver on Oct. 3 at Prospera Place.
“Portland is another high end team,” said Huska. “We have to make sure we aren’t afraid to win. We have to attack games and understand we can play with those teams. We have to learn to win and we have to do it sooner than later.”