Kelowna Rockets' forward Tomas Soustal sidesteps a check from Lethbridge captain Tyler Wong in WHL action Tuesday night at Prospera Place.

Rockets calm Hurricanes to regain top spot

Michael Herringer shines in goal and Tomas Soustal scores twice in Kelowna victory on Tuesday night

The Kelowna Rockets are back on top.

In a showdown for first place overall in the Western Hockey League, the Rockets held off the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night at Prospera Place.

Tomas Soustal scored both Kelowna goals and Michael Herringer was stellar in net with 30 saves as the Rockets ended a two-game losing streak.

With the win, Kelowna (35-13-3-0) pulls one point ahead of the Hurricanes (36-15-0-2) for top spot in the WHL.

Head coach Brad Ralph, whose team was playing for the fourth time in five nights, was pleased with the Rockets’ effort and, not surprisingly, the final result.

“It was a huge win,” said Ralph, whose Rockets were coming off losses to Victoria Saturday and Seattle on Sunday. “It was pretty clear we were tired, fourth game in five nights…I thought the guys dug down, it was a good effort.”

Soustal ended a 15-game scoreless drought with his 11th goal of the season on a setup from Rodney Southam in the first period.

His second—the eventual game winner—came on a breakaway early in the third as he slipped the puck between the pads of ‘Canes goalie Stuart Skinner.

“It feels pretty good,” Soustal said of his two-goal effort and the win over Lethbridge. “I mean we battled for first, it was huge for us, we’re back on top so it feels pretty good.”

With Jackson Whistle parked on the sidelines due to injury, Herringer made his 13th consecutive start and was once again at the top his game, earning first-star honours.

The Comox native, who stopped 41 shots two nights earlier in a 2-0 road loss to Seattle, made several key saves in the late going against Lethbridge to pick up his 16th win of the season.

“Herri (Herringer) was great,” Ralph said. “He gives us a chance to win and that’s all you can ask. He made some big saves down the stretch…he was good.”

“The guys blocked a lot of shots, they were in the shooting lanes,” said Herringer. “They made my four games in five nights really easy.”

A new backup for Herringer will arrive in Kelowna on Wednesday. The Rockets have called up 2013 bantam draft pick Brodan Salmond from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks for the remainder of the WHL season.

Brady Lenardon, who has served as Herringer’s backup since Jan. 1, will return to the KIJHL’s Kelowna Chiefs.

The Rockets will host the Spokane Chiefs on Friday and the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday.

 

Just Posted

Imagine Kelowna’s future this week

Four community meetings will take place on the future of the city

Accidents mount as snow falls

Kelowna drivers are having a tough time with worsening conditions

Kelowna’s global awareness festival set to go

Festival organizers get $22,800 grant from federal government to help stage this year’s events

Bus slams into truck at Kelowna intersection

A transit bus and a pick-up truck came together in the noon hour in Kelowna

Downtown Kelowna shopping mall getting face lift

The Towne Centre Mall on Bernard will be renamed and renovated inside and out

Scandia Jungle mini golf course reopening

Kelowna - Rutland Elementary students were the first ones to try the revamped course Tuesday

Castlegar homicide victim identified

The victim was 38-year-old Jordan Workman of Castlegar, B.C.

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates get one last prime-time pitch

Leadership campaign to be decided in Feb. 3 vote

Letter: Dictatorships don’t happen by accident

Kelowna letter-writer says people following Donald Trump are enabling him

Team chaplain reflects on time with Silverbacks

Kenny Toews served as a mentor and spiritual leader to the team for six seasons

Drawings connect autistic student with the world

Leifen Mitchell-Banks creates colourful cartoon characters at Salmon Arm Secondary.

Lake Country skier named Olympic alternate

Ian Deans will be a back up for the men’s ski cross team in South Korea

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

10 Safeways in Lower Mainland to close, union says

Locations in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Richmond and Mission slated to shut

Most Read