Kelowna Rockets goaltender Adam Brown stretches to make a save in a 6-4 loss Wednesday to Red Deer. The Rockets host Edmonton Friday at Prospera Place.

Rockets search for solutions to slump

WHL club on five-game slide as Edmonton Oil Kings visit Friday

Making the most of their opportunities hasn’t been a strong suit for the Kelowna Rockets this season.

And it’s a big reason the Western Hockey League club continues to be in a funk heading into Friday night’s game with the Edmonton Oil Kings at Prospera Place.

The team’s power play—or relative absence of one—was the Rockets undoing on Wednesday night in a 6-4 loss to the visiting Red Deer Rebels.

The Rockets (5-11-1-1) failed to capitalize on four straight man-advantage situations in the second period, including a lengthy 5-on-3 chance. To add insult to injury, the Rockets gave up a shorthanded goal en route to their fifth straight loss.

“Games turn when you lose your intensity and that’s the frustrating part,” said Rockets head coach Ryan Huska. “I thought 5-on-5 we were pretty good. We were physical. But our power play just lacks intensity right now.”

The Rockets continue to search for ways to turn the corner on what has been a difficult month of hockey—13 losses in the last 15 games.

On the upside, Kelowna showed some fight Wednesday night, rebounding from a 4-1 deficit against the Rebels to draw within a goal with less than seven minutes to play.

Forward Brett Bulmer, who has seven points in three games since returning from the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, said the Rockets simply need to get back to basics.

“I think we just need to work hard as a unit,” said Bulmer, who had three assists vs Red Deer. “We need everyone every night. We need to be focussed before the game and be ready to play. We can’t be worried about the score, it’s just putting in the work. Things will turn if we keep putting in efforts like this.”

In Edmonton (11-6-1-1), the Rockets face a fast-skating team with a solid defensive corps, led by veteran Mark Pysyk and Slovak rookie, Martin Gernat.

Veterans T.J. Foster and Michael St. Croix lead the offense.

“They’re very fast and we have to make sure we skate with them,” Huska said of the Oil Kings.

F Carter Rigby (concussion) returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing seven games.

D Kevin Smith (upper body) could return to action this weekend, while D Jesse Lees (upper body) and F Spencer Main (upper body) remain sidelined.

The Rockets will visit the Vancouver Giants on Saturday.



Just Posted

Kelowna woman only Canadian to train in Danish sailing program

A Kelowna sailor compares her life at sea to manning an old… Continue reading

Okanagan Sun juggle coaching staff

Kelowna football club makes a move within its coaching ranks

Kelowna West Libertarian goes after ICBC

Kyle Geronazzo feels B.C. drivers are being “ripped off” by the provincial auto insurer

Kelowna finalists announced for small business awards

The 15th annual Small Business BC Awards will be held Feb. 23

Former councillor announces mayoral bid in West Kelowna

Gord Milson says he’s running for mayor in next October’s civic election

What’s happening

Find out about events happening in your community this weekend

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Letter: Let’s vote for a return to democracy in November.

Letter writer says a coming referendum vote could change the way political power is distributed

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

King’s thrilling tale brought to the Vernon stage

Arts Club Theatre Company presents Misery at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Jan. 30

Most Read