Learn and move on.
That’s the mantra the Kelowna Rockets are taking to Prince George this weekend following a deflating, home-ice defeat Wednesday night to the Victoria Royals.
Victoria’s team speed coupled with Kelowna’s lack of discipline pretty much told the tale in an 8-3 Royals’ victory at Prospera Place.
With a doubleheader against the B.C. Division-rival Cougars up next, head coach Jason Smith said the Rockets need to turn the page and get back to playing sound, disciplined, team-oriented hockey.
“As a group, our guys lost composure, became undisciplined and they played as individuals and not as a team,” he said of Wednesday’s drubbing.
“I think we’ve done a real good job of bouncing back when things don’t go our way and that’s what it’s going to be about,” Smith added. “We’ve got two games (in Prince George), we’re not worried about the second one, we’re focused on the first one and we’ll be ready to play.”
The second period of Wednesday’s game was particularly frustrating for Smith and the coaching staff who watched their club—leading 2-0 at the time—take a rash of penalties while the Royals rang up six unanswered goals.
Alternate captain Gordie Ballhorn said while it’s important to look critically at their effort against the Royals, it’s equally important for the Rockets to get on with the next task at hand.
“Think about it for about 10 minutes, ask yourself what you could have done better, what you can bring next time and we gotta put it behind us,” Ballhorn said. “We’ve got two huge games here, if we can get two wins there, then this loss is a little less deflating. We’ve got to learn from it and move on.”
Brodan Salmond yielded five Royals goals on 15 shots in the Rockets net and was replaced by James Porter late in the second period.
Dillon Dube and Connor Bruggen-Cate, with their first goals of the season, and Kole Lind scored Wednesday for the Rockets. Overage forward Carsen Twarynski returned to the Kelowna lineup and picked up an assist on Dube’s goal at 1:42 of the first.
The Rockets’ next home action is Friday, Oct. 13 against the Calgary Hitmen.