Kelowna’s Schael Higson fends off a Blazers forechecker. Photo: Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images

Rockets season over after tiebreaker loss to Blazers

Kelowna collapses in the third period against Kamloops in a 5-1 loss

The Kelowna Rockets season came to an end Tuesday night in a 5-1 loss to the Kamloops Blazers.

In the tiebreaker game, the first in franchise history for the Rockets, only the game’s winner would advance to the WHL playoffs, and the Rockets’ stumbled in the third period to give the Blazers the win.

READ MORE: Rockets’ tiebreaker for playoff berth a franchise first

The Rockets came out with energy on their biggest rivals’ home ice Tuesday night. The Blazers won the season series against Kelowna and was awarded home ice advantage for the tiebreaker. The two teams were tied 1-1 at the beginning of the third period, but the perks of home ice gave the Blazers the push to secure the win.

Kelowna gave up two short-handed goals in the third period, and gave up any momentum they had.

Kamloops added two more unanswered goals in the game to secure a berth into the playoffs and win 5-1.

Rockets’ Mark Liwiski scored the lone Rockets goal.

After a shakey start to the season, head coach Adam Foote stepped in and turned the Rockets season around. The young Rockets roster fought through the season, but weren’t able to finish the season the way they needed to, netting only one win in their last five games, which allowed Kamloops to crawl back from being seven points behind the Rockets.

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The Rockets will lose three defenceman at the end of the season, as 20-year-olds Dalton Gally, Schael Higson, and Matt Barberis go past the WHL’s age limit.

With the season over, several Rockets players will look towards a potential draft in the 2019 NHL draft in Vancouver.

Rockets’ Nolan Foote, Kaedan Korczak, Lassi Thomson, and Kyle Topping are expected to be drafted in June.

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