The Victoria Royals scored three unanswered goals in the third period, ending the Kelowna Rockets nine-game WHL winning streak with a 4-3 victory Wednesday at Prospera Place.
It was just the Rockets’ second loss in regulation play at home in 13 games (9-2-0-2) this season.
After a 4-3 win Tuesday over Seattle, the Rockets were playing their second game in as many nights, but head coach Ryan Huska wasn’t using fatigue as an excuse for the lacklustre effort.
The team also lost defenceman Mitchell Wheaton to injury Tuesday, but the head coach wasn’t accepting that as an alibi either.
“For me the lack of execution with our passing and the plays that we made was a lack of preparation,” Huska said on AM 1150. “I felt our guys used our travel and our situation as a crutch, that should something go wrong, well it was just a tough night for us. If you want to be a good team, that can’t come into play. That’s something that Dan (Lambert) and I were disappointed in.”
After Tyler Soy opened the scoring for Victoria in the first period, Tyson Baillie evened the count for Kelowna in the second frame with his 10th of the season.
The Royals, who were outshot 27-19, put the game away with third period goals from Austin Carroll, Ben Walker and Brandon Fushimi.
The Rockets (16-3-0-2), with one of the league’s best penalty killing records, allowed two power play goals for the second straight game.
Kelowna returns to action Friday when they travel to Kennewick to take on the Tri-City Americans.