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

Falkland artist favours, fights for fish

Lottie Kozak does all kinds of art; one of her favourite subjects, fish, is dwindling

The Westbank First Nation to be a fixture of Westside Daze

This Canada Day long weekend mark your calendars

Updated: Kelowna cops investigate armed robbery at city centre business

Robbery sparks late afternoon manhunt by armed police officers with guns drawn

Kelowna mayor pays emotional tribute to late senior city manager

Colin Basran chokes up remembering city corporate and protective services director Rob Mayne Monday

Kelowna photographer captures spirit of Riverdale

Katrina Hiebert saw the opportunity to do something novel and unique.

Updated: Kelowna cops investigate armed robbery at city centre business

Robbery sparks late afternoon manhunt by armed police officers with guns drawn

UPDATED: Oliver wildfire extinguished, B.C. Wildfire mopping up

6-ha. brush fire contained before it could spread farther

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Vernon cold case murder suspect bail hearing Tuesday

Paramjit Singh Bogarh will appear in Vernon Law Courts at 10 a.m. June 19

Elvis lives again in Penticton

Elvis Festival back this weekend for 17th year

Athletics, Parsons stay hot in four-game sweep

Okanagan takes two PBL doubleheaders from UBC Thunder at Elks Stadium

Tigers looking to lock up title

Face Flames tonight in Penticton

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Most Read