Devin Steffler of the Kelowna Rockets skates with the puck against the Victoria Royals Saturday night at Prospera Place. Kelowna lost the preseason game 6-5 in a shootout. —Image: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze

Kelowna Rockets open the preseason with a pair of losses

Rockets drop a 6-5 shootout decision to Victoria and then lose 4-2 to Price George

The Kelowna Rockets opened the 2018 pre-season with a pair of losses, falling 4-2 Prince George Cougars Saturday night at Prospera Place and 6-5 in a shootout to Victoria Friday.

On Saturday, the Rockets Cole Carrier opened the scoring at 17:45 of the first period but Prince George tied it up with a goal from Arjun Atwal in the middle of the second.

The score remained 1-1 into the third period thanks to Rockets goalie James Porter stopping Craig Armstrong’s penalty shot attempt late in the period.

The Cougars scored early in the third to take a one goal lead but Rocket’s defenceman Nolan Foote quickly responded with a goal, knotting things up at 2-2.

With just under six minutes to go, Price George’s Tyson Upper beat Rockets goaltender Cole Tisdale to regain the Cougars lead. Upper added an empty netter with three seconds remaining to secure the victory for the Cougars.

Porter and Tisdale split time between the pipes for Kelowna, with Porter playing the first two periods and stopping 14 of the 15 shots he faced. Tisdale stopped nine of 11 shots he faced. Overall, the Cougars outshot the Rockets 27-25.

Kelowna is back in action Friday when they head to the Sandman Centre in Kamloops to take on the Blazers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Rockets are back home the next night for a rematch with the Blazers at Prospera Place. Puck drop for that game will be 7:05 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050

On Friday, the Rockets dropped a 6-5 shootout decision to the Victoria Royals at Prospera Place. It took six rounds of shooters and only one goal to reach the result.

Victoria’s Alex Bolshakov ended the Rockets night beating Kelowna netminder Cole Tisdale to end the shootout.

As was the case the next night against Prince George, Porter and Tisdale split time in goal against Victoria, with Porter starting the night and Tisdale taking over halfway through.

Porter made 13 saves on 15 shots before Tisdale took over, stopping 20 of the 23 shots he faced. The Rockets outshot the Royals 39-38.

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