The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Kamloops Blazers 5-2 in Kamloops on Friday night, opening up the 2013-14 Western Hockey League regular season with a convincing win.
Rourke Chartier had two goals and one assist to lead the Rockets, who outshot Kamloops 34-29. Jordon Cooke earned the win in net. Kamloops scored first in the game before the Rockets stormed back with three straight goals as Riley Stadel, Justin Kirkland and Chartier scored for Kelowna as the Rockets took a 3-1 lead at the end of the first period.
Kamloops forward Cole Ully made the score 3-2 in the second but Austin Glover and Chartier, into an empty-net, had third period goals for Kelowna. The Rockets were 1-for-6 on the power play and held Kamloops to 0-for-4.
Kelowna played without last year’s leading scorer Myles Bell, who was released back to Kelowna by New Jersey and is expected to arrive in Kelowna on Saturday. Damon Severson remains with the New Jersey Devils.
The two teams will go at it again on Saturday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna in the Rockets 2013-14 season opener.
Kelowna will raise the 2012-13 WHL BC Division banner prior to the game.