Rockets edge rival Blazers

Kelowna opens post-Christmas schedule Tuesday at home with fourth straight WHL win

Captain Rodney Southam and the Kelowna Rockets opened the second half of the WHL season with a win Tuesday over the Kamloops Blazers.

The Christmas break did little to break the momentum of the Kelowna Rockets.

Michael Herringer stopped 30 shots Tuesday night, as the hometown Rockets downed the rival Kamloops Blazers 3-2 for their fourth straight WHL victory.

Connor Bruggen-Cate’s empty net goal with 43 seconds remaining in the third period turned out to be the game winner in front of a season-high 6,238 fans at Prospera Place.

Kole Lind, with his team-leading 20th of the season, and Nolan Foote also scored for the Rockets (23-12-2-0) who were playing for the first time since a 2-1 shootout win Dec. 18 in Edmonton.

After Bruggen-Cate gave the Rockets a two-goal cushion late in the game, Erik Miller pulled Kamloops back to within a goal with just 25 seconds remaining.

Dylan Ferguson, filling in for Canadian junior team netminder Connor Ingram, made 30 saves in the Blazers’ net.

The Rockets were without forwards Dillon Dube (Canada), Calvin Thurkauf (Switzerland) and Tomas Soustal (Czech Republic) who are also at the world junior hockey championship.

The Rockets return to action Friday when they host the Victoria Royals.

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