Joachim Blichfeld scored with just 3.8 seconds remaining in the third period to complete a four-goal rally, as the Portland Winterhawks downed the Kelowna Rockets 5-4 in WHL action Saturday at Prospera Place.
The Winterhawks fought back from a 4-1 second period deficit to hand the Rockets their fifth loss in the last six games—all by one goal.
As much as the loss hurt, Rockets head coach Jason Smith said based on the way his team performed, it was the appropriate result.
“It’s probably what we deserved by the way we played,” Smith said.” We didn’t compete hard enough, didn’t stay on pucks and didn’t put the puck at the net enough to win the game.”
“We played a soft game, one we deserved to lose.”
Nick Merkley had a goal and two assists for Kelowna, while Reid Gardiner, Kyle Topping and Gordie Ballhorn also scored in the loss.
Former West Kelowna Warriors goaltender Shane Farkas made 31 saves in the Portland goal, while Michael Herringer stopped 31 shots for Kelowna.
The loss, combined with a Victoria win over Vancouver, dropped the Rockets two points back of the Royals for third spot in the B.C. Division.
The Rockets (27-19-4-0) were without defenceman Cal Foote and forward Kole Lind who were on their way to Quebec City for Monday’s NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game.
Kelowna returns to action on Wednesday night at Prospera Place against the Calgary Hitmen.