Kelowna Rockets’ Dillon Hamaliuk (left, Photo: Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images) and West Kelowna Warriors’ Corey McCann (right, Photo: Tami Quan Photography). Both Okanagan teams were winless in Friday night action Feb. 7.

Rockets splutter, Warriors come close in Okanagan hockey action

Both Kelowna and West Kelowna hope to bounce back this weekend while Chiefs grab win No. 27

It was a tough Friday night for some Okanagan-based hockey teams and their fans.

The Kelowna Rockets fell 7-3 in a quickly forgettable game to the Portland Winterhawks while the West Kelowna Warriors came just minutes short of securing points against the Trail Smoke Eaters in a 5-4 heartbreaking loss.

Both teams will return to the ice this weekend with the Rockets hosting a rematch with the Winterhawks Saturday night while the Warriors pick up action Sunday in Penticton against the red-hot Vees.

READ MORE: Okanagan chefs come together for International Women’s Day fundraiser

The Rockets took on one of the hottest teams in the WHL in the Winterhawks. Portland bested Kelowna twice in mid-January and Kelowna was looking to show some resilience in Friday night’s rematch.

After going down three goals early in the first period, the Rockets clawed back to get within one thanks to goals from Kaedan Korczak and Ethan Ernst.

Kelowna, still missing key players due to injuries, were out-shot 33 to 20 and were unable to muster much more offence in the second half of the game as Portland notched four more goals.

Nolan Foote, Sean Comrie, Devin Steffler, Michael Farren, Matthew Wedman and Liam Kindree remain out for the Rockets.

Kelowna will take another shot at the Winterhawks Saturday night at Prospera Place.

In Trail, West Kelowna was playing one of their best games of the season before the Smoke Eaters shocked the Warriors with four goals in the third period to steal the win after being down 3-1 to West Kelowna at the start of the final frame.

Trail’s Kent Johnson, one of the hottest players in the BCHL, was again dynamite for the Smoke Eaters, notching a hat-trick as well as a highlight of the season with a lacrosse-style goal from behind the net, his second scored goal like that this year.

Elan Bar Lev Wise scored his first two goal for the Warriors since being acquired in a trade in January. West Kelowna’s Holden Kodak and Colby Elmer notched the other two goals.

With only six games remaining in the season and West Kelowna still fighting for an optimal playoff position, the near-win stings just a bit more as Trail stole one from right under the Warriors’ noses.

The Warriors will visit the conference-leading Penticton Vees on Sunday before their next home game, a rematch against Trail, on Feb. 17.

READ MORE: City of West Kelowna invites bidders for Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant contractors

On the winning side of the ice on Friday night was the Kelowna Chiefs.

Rutland’s team cruised to a 9-3 win over the Creston Valley Thundercats to notch their 27th win of the season to stay atop the Okanagan/Shuswap conference of the KIJHL.

The Chiefs continue their final stretch to the playoffs Saturday night against the Columbia Valley Rockies before returning home for the season finale on Feb. 22.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Kelowna RocketsWest Kelowna Warriors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UBC Okanagan to host Festival of Ideas with BC’s lieutenant governor

The inaugural event will feature a panel discussion with Janet Austin, B.C.’s lieutenant governor

AlleyCATS Okanagan: Pet of the week

Meet Softy a five-year-old Himalayan cat available for adoption

Largest aircraft to operate at YLW begins service to Toronto this summer

The Boeing 767-300ER will increase seat availability for flights to Toronto by 40 per cent

B.C. budget fails to ‘excite’ Kelowna business community

Chamber says Budget 2020 lacks a clearly defined competitiveness strategy

Kelowna divers ready to take on 2020 B.C. Winter Games

The athletes have been training four days a week

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

COLUMN: Democracies don’t always have to agree

In no democratic system of governance is there ever 100 per cent agreement on any issue

EDITORIAL: Revisiting cannabis regulations

Recent retail license application has brought up concerns about present policy in Summerland

Guidelines regulate Summerland cannabis stores

The municipality’s policy, 300.6 establishes the 50-metre buffer zone around schools and parks

Most Read