Thurkauf nets 3 as Rockets ground Birds

Kelowna wraps up pre-Christmas home schedule with big win over Seattle

Calvin Thurkauf scored his first career hat trick in Kelowna's 6-1 win Wednesday night over Rylan Toth and the Seattle Thunderbirds.



In their last home game before Christmas, Calvin Thurkauf and the Kelowna Rockets provided the Prospera Place faithful with a rather festive parting gift.

Thurkauf scored his first career hat trick to pace the Rockets to a convincing 6-1 WHL victory Wednesday over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds.

It was the third win in the last four games for the Rockets, who now hit the road for a seven-game, 11-day road trip beginning Friday night against the Tri-City Americans.

“We had a great team effort tonight,” said the Swiss-born Thurkauf. “I was fortunate to score, but in hindsight everybody came in, clutched in tonight, we played a really good game.

“Props to (goalie) Mike (Herringer), to our D-corps, to our forwards, everybody gave their best.”

Thurkauf ignited the Rockets early with a goal just 66 seconds into the game, then added his second of the night midway through the opening period to make it 2-0, and the Rockets never looked back.

“It’s good to come out and start the game right away,” said head coach Jason Smith. “It’s something we’ve talked about, just make sure we’re ready to play, come out and do things right, right off the start.”

Tomas Soustal, Jake Kryski and Rodney Southam also scored for the Rockets (17-11-1-0) who have won six of their last eight games.

Thurkauf rounded out the scoring with his hat trick goal and 12th of the season on a set up from Nick Merkley at 16:24 of the third period. Merkley finished the night with three assists.

Meanwhile, Merkley and Rockets teammate Dillon Dube will leave Friday for the Canadian junior team’s final selection camp, Dec. 10 to 14 in Blainville, Que.

The Rockets will also be without Thurkauf (Switzerland) and Soustal (Czech Republic) who will depart Monday to join their respective countries in advance of the world junior hockey championship.

With the absences of four of his team’s most productive offensive players for what could be a lengthy stretch of games, Smith isn’t shying away from the challenge the Rockets will be facing over the next several weeks.

“It’ll be exciting, it’s a great opportunity to really grow as a group,” said Smith. “It’ll be a great challenge for our group to step up when we’re losing some players.

“I think there are guys that will expand their roles a little bit,” he added, “you’ll get some new players in the lineup that are looking to prove themselves and have an opportunity to make an impression.”

The Rockets’ next home game is Tuesday, Dec. 27 against the Kamloops Blazers.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Robot caretakers could be in your future

Interior Health CEO says AI will revolutionalize medical care

Kelowna walk sheds light on blood cancer darkness

The Light The Night Walk takes Saturday, April 21, from Waterfront Park

Driving Change: A Kelowna man’s charitable trip across Canada

A Kelowna man, his bus, and his mission for positive change across our country

Kelowna examines options to connect Rutland with rail trail

Public feedback on the four options is available online until May 6

Wanted man nabbed after flipping car in Kelowna

A wanted man is now facing charges

Kelowna properties flooded along Heimlich Road

Flooding started on Spiers Road Tuesday and continued into properties, said an area resident

Locals play their part in Cirque’s Crystal in Penticton

It’s no easy task when it comes to unloading 17 semis full of equipment

Countdown is on to the 2018 B.C. Summer Games

Cowichan Valley hosts on July 19-22

Case of teacher secretly filming teens reaches top court

Acquittal of teacher, Ryan Jarvis, who secretly videoed teens ‘dangerous,’ top court told

The “industry will collapse” : South Okanagan winery reacts to ruling

Okanagan Falls winery concerned for the future of the industry after Supreme Court ruling

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Rock titans rule Prospera Place

Peter Frampton and Steve Miller have been friends for 51 years.

Most Read