Leif Mattson #28 of the Kelowna Rockets, Kyle Topping #24 of the Kelowna Rockets at the Kelowna Rockets game Vs the Prince George Cougars on Sept.26 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo By Cindy Rogers/Nyasa Photography

Leif Mattson #28 of the Kelowna Rockets, Kyle Topping #24 of the Kelowna Rockets at the Kelowna Rockets game Vs the Prince George Cougars on Sept.26 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo By Cindy Rogers/Nyasa Photography

Rockets fall to Prince George in first of three game series

They will face off for redemption on Friday night

The Kelowna Rockets fell 4-2 to the Prince George Cougars on Wednesday night at Prospera Place.

The Cougars got on the board first as Ryan Schoettler capitalized on an early 5-on-3 power play for Prince George. Despite outshooting the Cougars 10-9 through 20 minutes the Rockets found themselves trailing 1-0 after one period.

At the 11:00 mark of the middle frame Rockets import defenceman Lassi Thomson tallied his first WHL goal scoring on a seeing-eye wrist shot that found its way to the back of the net from the point. The Rockets and Cougars were knotted 1-1 after 40 minutes of play.

Midway through the final stanza Mike MacLean found his own rebound and slid it past the outstretched leg of Rockets netminder James Porter to regain a Cougars lead. Just over four minutes later Leif Mattson made the score 2-2 on his third goal in as many games this season. Exactly one minute after Mattson evened things up, Vladislav Mikhalchuk pulled the Cougars ahead once again and they didn’t look back. Ilijah Colina scored on the empty net late in the frame to solidify a 4-2 Cougars victory.

RELATED: Rockets prepare for three-game series against Prince George

James Porter made 20 saves on 23 shots as the Rockets outshot the Cougars 29-24.

The Rockets and Cougars are right back in action as they head to PG for Friday and Saturday night meetings at the CN Centre to wrap up a three-game mini-series this week. The two clubs don’t meet again following this week until Saturday Oct. 27 at Prospera Place.

Kelowna is back home on Wednesday, Oct. 3 when they continue their stretch of divisional opponents to open the regular season as they host the Vancouver Giants at Prospera Place. Puck drop on Wednesday is at 7:05 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at selectyourtickets.com.

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