The Kelowna Rockets mustered a comeback but ultimately fell 3-2 to the Kamloops Blazers in a nine-round shootout Saturday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna, BC.
“I thought it was a good game,” said Coach Adam Foote. “I didn’t like the way we were losing, but I really like how “Baz” (Goaltender Roman Basran) didn’t lose his focus. He played hard, he fought for us and allowed us to get back in the game.”
The Blazers got on the Rockets early scoring two goals in the opening frame. Logan Stankoven opened the scoring midway through the first. Just over two minutes later Orrin Centazzo added another on the penalty kill with a wicked slap shot from a bad angle to make it 2-0.
The Rockets would pick up their pace in the latter part of the first and get back in the game with a goal from Kyle Crosbie in the last minute of the period.
In the second period, Kelowna matched the Blazers speed and tied the game on a whacky re-direction goal from Pavel Novak with five minutes to go in the second.
The game saw a number of power-play opportunities for each team. Both goaltenders stood on their heads, stopping a series of high-quality chances. The score of 2-2 would stand through three periods and extra time was needed.
Shots after three periods were in favor of Kamloops 34-28.
Kamloops began the OT period on the power-play but couldn’t convert. A shootout was needed.
It was a goaltender dual in the shootout, much like it had been throughout the entire game. Rockets veteran Kyle Topping scored with a cheeky wrist shot glove side to go up 1-0 in the shootout.
Blazers forward Logan Stankoven would tie it up on the next shot. The shootout would then continue seven more rounds before Blazers Stuart Brodu would end it to make the final score 3-2.