Rockets get second crack at ‘Hawks

Kelowna looks to rebound from 4-2 loss in Portland Wednesday

Forty-eight hours after taking one on the chin in Portland, the Kelowna Rockets will take another swing at the Winterhawks.

The teams square off for the second time in three days when they meet Friday night at the Rose Garden.

On Wednesday, the hometown Winterhawks took round one 4-2 over the Rockets, thanks almost exclusively to special teams. Portland scored twice on the power play and twice more while playing a man short.

“Five-on-five, I really like the way we played,” said Rockets coach Ryan Huska, whose club out shot Portland 35-29. “On the power play and killing penalties, not so much.

“It was almost as if when we got on the power play, we didn’t have to work, and it cost us two goals. And our penalty kill didn’t step up. We’re going to need to do both of those to be better (Friday).”

Wednesday marked the debut of newly acquired forward Brett Lyon, who joined the Rockets earlier in the day in Portland after being dealt by the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The 20-year-old Lyon scored his first goal in Kelowna colours and established his physical presence with a fight in the second period.

“I thought he played well,” Huska said of Lyon’s effort. “He skated well and worked real hard. (Wednesday) was a real long day for him, so he did well to get here and be ready to play.

“We look for him to be good for us for the rest of the season.”

As for Friday night’s rematch with the Winterhawks, Huska said it’s an opportunity make amends for the loss two nights earlier.

“They’re a good hockey team and we get another chance to prove ourselves against them.

What’s nice about back-to-back games is that it eliminates the travel involved and you also have that familiarity with your opponent. After what we did on Wednesday, the guys should feel like they can compete.”

Injuries kept four Rockets out of the lineup Wednesday: F Colton Heffley (back, day-to-day), Damon Severson (upper body, 2 weeks), F Jessey Astles (upper body, 10 days), F Spencer Main (concussion, indefinite).

The Rockets road trip continues Saturday in Vancouver against the Giants, and wraps up Sunday in Everett vs. the Silvertips.


Kelowna Capital News