Four second period goals by Moose Jaw were the difference as the Warriors earned a 4-2 win over the Kelowna Rockets in WHL action at Prospera Place on Thursday night.
Kelowna led 1-0 after the first period before Joey Kornelsen, Sam Fioretti, Matt Grant and Spencer Edwards scored for the Warriors as they took control of the game in the second period. Despite opportunities with the man advantage, Kelowna couldn’t score in the third period, making the final 4-2. The Rockets were 0-for-8 on the power play.
With the score 2-1 for Moose Jaw, Brett Bulmer tied the game for Kelowna with his 14th goal of the season, converting a 2-on-1 with Shane McCoglan. Bulmer wired a shot into the top corner after McColgan sent him in alone on net. But Grant scored just 31 seconds later with an individual effort as he skated wide around a Kelowna defender before firing a shot into the top corner and giving the Warriors the lead back.
The Rockets lineup got a boost with the return of Mitchell Callahan, the Team USA forward who returned to Kelowna with a bronze medal won at the 2011 World Junior tournament. Callahan arrived at the rink just prior to the pre game warm-up and picked up an assist on Bulmer’s goal. Team Canada players Tyson Barrie of Kelowna and Quinton Howden both arrived in Kelowna late in the day and were scratched while coach Ryan Huska had his flight delayed and was not at the rink.
Geordie Wudrick opened the scoring for the Rockets at 17:03 of the first period with a bullet slap-shot from the point just as a Kelowna power play ended. Playing the right point, Wudrick one-timed a pass from Zak Stebner hard into the top corner, cleanly beating Moose Jaw goalie Thomas Heemskerk with the blast for his 20th goal of the season.
The first period also featured a spirited scrap between Rockets rookie Gal Koren of Slovenia (6 PIMs) and Warriors forward Cody Beach (152 PIMs). The pair exchanged some heavy blows in what was called a draw in the press box.
The Rockets will head to Seattle for a game Friday night before returning home Saturday when they will host the Kamloops Blazers at Prospera Place on a night where the Rockets will honour World Junior participants Ryan Huska, Tyson Barrie, Mitchell Callahan and Andreas Stene.
Goalie Jordan Cooke was named the Kelowna Rockets Chunky’s Soup Academic Achievement Winner for the month of December.
Kelowna – Adam Brown
Moose Jaw – Thomas Heemskerk
Kelowna – Tyson Barrie, Jason Siebert, Andreas Stene, Colton Heffley
Moose Jaw – Spencer Morse, Dallas Ehrhardt, Quinton Howden, Michal Hlinka, AJ Johnson, Brayden Cuthbert