Rockets forward Colton Heffley (left) celebrates his first period goal with linemates Tyrell Goulbourne and Tanner Moar during Kelowna's 6-2 win over the Tri-City Americans Wednesday at Prospera Place.

Young line sets pace for Rockets

Heffley, Goulbourne and Moar combine for six points in win over Americans

Though they don’t have an official handle yet, the Energy Line just might be an appropriate moniker for the trio of Colton Heffley, Tyrell Goulbourne and Tanner Moar.

The three 17-year-old forwards were instrumental in the Kelowna Rockets 6-2 victory over the Western Conference-leading Tri-City Americans Wednesday night at Prospera Place.

With speed, energy and physical play, Heffley, Goulbourne and Moar caused havoc for the Ams defense from start to finish, combining for two goals and four assists.

The effort helped the Rockets end November with a bang, while halting Tri-City’s four-game winning streak.

“They’ve done a great job,” Huska said of the young trio. “They all understand what we’re looking for out of them, they’re guys who need to create energy and when they do play that way they have success. They’ve consistently been our best line up front over the last little while.”

And it wasn’t just the Energy Line that constructed a solid effort on Wednesday night.

In Huska’s eyes, it was close as the Rockets have come this season to playing a complete game.

“Playing 60 minutes is something we’re working on, so we’re getting there,” said Huska. “When everybody gets involved and plays as a team, the way we should be playing then it makes things easier. Our older guys, the Bulmers and McColgans were involved too, so that’s what we need more of on a consistent basis.”

Bulmer score twice Wednesday, his seventh and eighth goals of the season, while McColgan added a pair of assists as the Rockets out shot the Ams 33-22.

Still, Huska has been through enough trials and tribulations during his WHL coaching career to know one win does not a season make.

With their next two games against teams below them in the B.C. Division standings—Victoria on Friday and Prince George Saturday—Huska said his club needs to refocus for an important weekend.

“The win over Tri-City is behind us and it’s a new day,” said Huska. “You have to be careful of the highs and lows, you can’t feel doom and gloom when things are going poorly, the same as you have to avoid the tendency to be too high when you’re winning.

“We have to be ready and excited to play,” he added. “These are two big games for us, a chance to get above .500 for the first time in quite a while.”

The Rockets (11-12-2-1) will be without four players for the weekend’s game due to injury: Cody Chikie (shoulder), Spencer Main (head), Myles Bell (lower body), and Jesse Lees (shoulder).

Head coach Ryan Huska and athlettic therapist Jeff Thorburn will leave for Calgary on Friday, Dec. 9 for the Canadian junior team’s final selection camp.

Rockets forward Brett Bulmer is among 41 players vying for one of 22 spots on the Team Canada roster for the IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Edmonton and Calgary.

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com

 

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