The Kelowna Rockets missed out on picking up their 10th win of the season with a 6-3 loss to the Victoria Royals Wednesday night.
Five goals were scored in the opening period, with the Rockets going down 3-2 in the first 11 minutes. Kelowna came out in the second reinvigorated with pressure to tie the game 3-3 but were unable to generate enough pressure to overcome the Royals’ consistent forecheck which kept the Rockets in their own end for much of the game.
Head coach Adam Foote said the team simply made too many mistakes.
“We out-chanced them and we out-shot them,” said Foote.
“Our big mistakes went into our net and they didn’t have too many big mistakes and it’s hard to come back from that.”
There was no shortage of offence for the Rockets, but collapses on defence had them trailing behind most of the game. Pavel Novak and Jake Poole added the first two goals for the Rockets with Jake Lee adding two assists.
Kelowna’s Alex Swetlikoff tied the game 3-3 half way through the second period as the Rockets looked to gain control, but the consistent errors would do the home-team in.
“I thought we were all over them most of the night,” said Swetlikoff, who picked up his fourth goal on the year.
“We were right there with them but some turnovers and penalties and they score, that’s the way it goes. There’s a lot of positives we could take away from tonight but obviously we’ll need to clean up our defensive zone and get ready for Friday.”
Kelowna’s momentum in the second was quickly snuffed out as Victoria re-took the lead with two goals within three minutes to go ahead 5-3 going into the third period .
Rockets’ goalie Cole Schwebius come in to the game as relief for Roman Basran, who had a rough start with three goals in his first six shots faced. Schwebius made some saves to help the Rockets’ out, but it wasn’t enough as the Royals added three goals on 14 shots.
Foote said that the team can’t rely on the Rockets’ goalie duo to continuously bail them out.
With the loss, the Rockets miss a chance to grab two valuable points to pull ahead in the B.C. division as they still remain tied with the Kamloops Blazers with 20 points and a 9-5-1-1 record.
The Rockets next host the Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday night.
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