After equalling a season best five-game winning streak, the Kelowna Rockets suddenly find themselves in a most unwelcome slump.
The Spokane Chiefs scored the game’s first six goals en route to a 6-3 victory over the Rockets in WHL action Friday at Prospera Place, handing Kelowna its third loss in the last four games.
The Chiefs scored three times in the opening period, before making it 4-0 at 7:33 of the second period to chase Michael Herringer from the Rockets net.
Newcomer Brodan Salmond, promoted this week from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks, finished the game giving up two goals on 12 shots in his WHL debut.
Lucas Johansen, Calvin Thurkauf and Jonathan Smart, with his first WHL goal, scored in the third period to soften the blow for the Rockets, who were outshot 32-24, including 17-8 in the first period.
“You’re not going to win a lot of hockey games if you come out the way we did,” Rockets’ head coach Brad Ralph told AM 1150’s Regan Bartel.
The Rockets were coming off losses to Victoria and Seattle last weekend, before bouncing back for a 2-1 victory over Lethbridge on Tuesday.
“Apparently we didn’t learn anything from last weekend and what it takes to win in this league. I think that was our biggest problem tonight. We thought we were better than we are and without work ethic, you’re not going to win any games.”
Rockets’ forward Nick Merkley left the game in the third period with an apparent leg injury and didn’t return.
The Rockets (35-14-3-0) will host the Calgary Hitmen (31-19-1-1) on Saturday night.