Victoria goaltender Coleman Vollrath (right) made 44 saves to lead the Royals past Tyrell Goulbourne and the Kelowna Rockets 6-3 Wednesday night in WHL action at Prospera Place.

Royals ground depleted Rockets

Coleman Vollrath stands tall as Victoria wins final WHL regular meeting between the teams

The wear and tear of a long Western Hockey League season caught up with the Kelowna Rockets on Wednesday night.

With a short bench and four key players sidelined, the Victoria Royals skated away with a 6-3 victory at Prospera Place.

Royals’ netminder Coleman Vollrath stopped 44 shots and Tyler Soy netted a hat-trick in the eighth and final meeting of the season between the B.C. Division rivals.

Team goal-scoring leader Rourke Chartier, defenceman Josh Morrissey, and forwards Justin Kirkland and Gage Quinney all sat for the Rockets out due to injury.

To further exacerbate the problem, 21-year-old forward and recent NHL-signee Tyrell Goulbourne suffered a lower body injury in the second period and didn’t return. There was no word on how much time, if any, he will miss.

Rockets head coach Dan Lambert said a depleted lineup didn’t help his team’s cause.

“I think it had it a significant role, I guess,” Lambert said. “But I don’t know that that is going to change anytime soon, so we have to fight our way through this.

“I thought we looked a little tired,” Lambert added. “We had a lot of shots, a lot from the outside, and they certainly took advantage of their opportunities. They went 2-for-2 on the power play and in the end that was one of the differences for sure.”

Nick Merkley paced the Kelowna offence with two goals, his 19th and 20th of the season.

With the end of the regular season drawing near, Merkley said the Rockets may have let their foot off the gas just a little against the Royals.

“I don’t think we want it to, but for sure some motivation is lacking,” said Merkley. “But obviously you want to finish off strong and we want to continue that into the next five games.”

The Rockets (50-12-4-1) will take on the B.C. rival Kamloops Blazers in a home-and-home set this weekend. The teams will meet Friday at the Interior Savings Centre in Kamloops, then again Saturday night at Prospera Place.



Just Posted

Outbreak at Okanagan hospital

Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Kelowna public menorah lit tonight to celebrate Hanukkah

The menorah will be lit tonight after celebrations at 5 p.m. in Stuart Park

Big Band supports children with disabilities in Lake Country

Proceeds from the Okanagan Big Band performance in Vernon supports local kids

Were your hockey cards stolen?

The Kelowna RCMP are looking to reunite a hockey fan with their cards

RCMP look to reunite owner with stolen tools

Kelowna police seek to identify the owner of tablet and tools seized by RCMP

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Dedicated volunteers look for clues

Police appreciate work of those who provide extra eyes for missing women investigations.

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Horgan on Site C: ‘dammed’ if did, ‘dammed’ if he didn’t

B.C. premier didn’t like keeping massive hydro damn project going, but felt he had to

Strong economy fuels housing sales in B.C.: report

Economist says demand for houses is being supported by a large number of millennials entering the market

Tequila, hammers and knives: what not to bring on an airplane

Vancouver International Airport staff provide tips on travelling during the holidays

Most Read