Rockets’ Dalton Gally know’s his team needs points in upcoming games in Victoria. Photo: Mackenzie Britton/Capital News

Rockets hang on to playoff dreams after back to back weekend losses

The Rockets get a break Sunday, but head to Victoria for back to back games Feb. 18

It was a tough weekend for the Kelowna Rockets. In back to back games against two of the best teams in the entire Canadian Hockey League, nonetheless the WHL, the Rockets competed, but were unable to secure any points in losses to Everett and Vancouver.

“They’re good, they know what they’re doing, both of them (Everett and Vancouver,” said coach Adam Foote. “They’re not top 10 in the CHL for no reason, they’re good. You gotta think about where we are right now, we’re right there against two great teams. So again, I’m just gonna continue to say it, I’m real happy with the effort this weekend.”

The Rockets will get a days rest before continuing their tough stretch of games. Kelowna rolls into Victoria Feb. 18 for back to back games against the Royals. Victoria sits 10 points ahead of the Rockets in the B.C. division, and with Kamloops breathing down the Rockets’ neck, some wins against a divisional rival, couldn’t come at a better time.

The Rockets lost 2-0 to Vancouver Saturday night, and suffered a close 3-1 loss to Everett the night before. Kelowna’s roster continues to take hits as Liam Kindree, Matt Barberis, and Ted Brennan remain sidelined with injuries.

Kelowna came out matching the Giants pace in the first period on Saturday, but the it was the underdog Rockets that were testing Giants’ goalie Davie Tendeck early. Tendeck made 9 saves in the period, but the goalie had some huge help with two Rockets shots being turned away by the posts. Roman Basran made six saves for the Rockets in the period, and the Rockets, though with the momentum, would head into the second period tied 0-0.

RELATED: Rockets shut out by Giants

The second period started off with both teams getting their chances but both Basran and Tendeck were on top of their games. Both teams had two power plays in the second frame, but it was only Vancouver that would take advantage of the extra man with some nice passing capped off by Milos Roman getting fed in the front of the net to beat Basran. Vancouver, who’ve won their last six straight games, were heading into the third period with a 1-0 lead.

The third period belonged to Tendeck and the Giants. Vancouver’s deep defensive core took over and stifled any offence the Rockets mustered. Giants captain Jared Dmytriw gave Vancouver the insurance goal after a Rockets’ turnover in the attacking zone. Tendeck stopped all 22 Kelowna shots, as the Rockets seemed to run out of fuel near the end of the period.

The Rockets hit the road for the next three games, and will return to home ice Feb. 23 against the Kamloops Blazers, with what could be one of the most important games of the season for Kelowna as the playoff race in the B.C. division heats up.

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