It was the fourth time the Rockets had seen the Victoria Royals this season. In a 3-1 win, the the Rockets lead the season series 3-1 as they win their third straight. They still have four more games against the Royals this season, but Kelowna will battle for their next win against the powerful Everett Silvertips Saturday night.
Rockets goalie Roman Basran says the team’s play is coming around after their third straight win.
“We’re all feeling real comfortable together, and we’re playing well.”
Head coach Adam Foote says the goal the Royals got on Basran wasn’t because of poor play.
“It was a fluky goal, it hit something and caught (Basran) off guard, those kind of things happen,” said Foote. “The beauty is, we don’t want that to happen, but when it does we manage to win the game and we were able to get a couple more shifts in a play a tight game and learn how to win. We’ll take it.”
The first period started off well for both teams, each getting chances and shots, the Rockets, however, were able to keep a bit more possession through the first 10 minutes. The Royals, who have played 6 games less than the Rockets thus far through the season, would push the Rocket back onto their heels with some scrappy play style and some hard shots on Roman Basran. Teams started to get pushy with one another as the period ended 0-0.
Both teams were looking for a spark in the second. The Rockets gunning for their third win in a row against a big division rival. The Royals came into Friday’s game second in the B.C. division. Though the Royals got an early power-play, it seemed it gave more energy to the Rockets than to the Royals. On the fore-check, Nolan Foote forced a turn over in the Royals end and came around for a shot only to be turned away by Outhouse with a sweet glove save. Outhouse has one of the best save percentages in the league. But the Rockets would build off Foote’s effort, and also get some help when the Royals took two penalties to give the Rockets a two man advantage. The Rockets would take their time, but couldn’t miss this opportunity and about halfway through the period, Kyle Topping scored his tenth of the season to give the Rockets a one goal lead. Victoria showed some push soon afterwards with chance after chance, but once again Basran was solid and turned all 16 shots away. The period ended 1-0 for the Rockets.
The third period seemed to fly by as there were few stops in play as the Royals pushed to even the score. Basran turned away shot after shot, but the Rockets were able to outlast their pushes. The Royals showed no quit; with the goalie pulled and with six skaters on the ice, the Royals were finally able to beat Bastan and put one on the board. The Royals pushed with the same tactic again, but the Rockets’ Mattson was able to make a great defensive read and steal the puck in a solo effort to grab an empty netter. Rockets would go on to win 3-1.
The Rockets record improves to 11-13-1. They travel to Everett on Saturday night for their second game in the back-to-back. The Silvertips sit in second place in the WHL.
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