Rockes defenseman Kaedan Korczak skates over the centre line with the Royals Tarun Fizer checking him during the first period on September 2, 2017 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. - Image: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze

Rockets drop WHL preseason opener

Kelowna goes back and forth with rival Victoria, losing in overtime to begin the WHL preseason

The Victoria Royals defeated the Kelowna Rockets 5-4 in overtime on Saturday night at Prospera Place in game one of the Rockets preseason.

The Rockets opened the scoring 7:23 into the opening frame. Prospect Cayde Augustine ripped home a one-timer on the power play on a pass from Konrad Belcourt with Kyle Topping collecting the second assist. That would do it for first period scoring.

Leif Mattson extended the Rockets lead with 10:38 to go in the middle period with Augustine and Kyle Topping collecting assists. The Royals responded as Jared Dmytriw scored from Jared Legien and Matthew Smith. Kelowna pulled the trigger right back as Topping finished off a nice passing play from Mattson and Colum McGauley. The Rockets took a 3-1 lead into the third period.

Victoria brought it back within one as Spencer Gerth potted one from Scott Walford at 5:08 of the third but Kelowna answered back seconds later as Joshua McNeil notched one from Liam Kindree. Victoria kept the see-saw battle going as Jared Legien scored on the power play from Scott Walford and Dante Hannoun. Igor Martynov was awarded a penalty shot for Victoria and he capitalized on the opportunity to bring the game to a 4-4 tie. The score stayed that way for the remainder of the period and the Rockets first preseason game was off to overtime.

After the Royals killed off a slashing minor in overtime, Eric Florchuk slid one past the Rockets netminder to end the evening with the Royals taking this one 5-4.

Brodan Salmond and Roman Basran split time combining for 26 saves on 31 shots. Salmond stopped all 15 shots he faced, and Basran stopped 11 of 16 he faced.

The Rockets are back in action on Tuesday night, September 5th, when they host the Kamloops Blazers at Prospera Place. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.

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