Kelowna Rockets’ Dillon Hamaliuk (left, Photo: Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images) and West Kelowna Warriors’ Corey McCann (right, Photo: Tami Quan Photography). Both Okanagan teams were winless in Friday night action Feb. 7.

Rockets splutter, Warriors come close in Okanagan hockey action

Both Kelowna and West Kelowna hope to bounce back this weekend while Chiefs grab win No. 27

It was a tough Friday night for some Okanagan-based hockey teams and their fans.

The Kelowna Rockets fell 7-3 in a quickly forgettable game to the Portland Winterhawks while the West Kelowna Warriors came just minutes short of securing points against the Trail Smoke Eaters in a 5-4 heartbreaking loss.

Both teams will return to the ice this weekend with the Rockets hosting a rematch with the Winterhawks Saturday night while the Warriors pick up action Sunday in Penticton against the red-hot Vees.

READ MORE: Okanagan chefs come together for International Women’s Day fundraiser

The Rockets took on one of the hottest teams in the WHL in the Winterhawks. Portland bested Kelowna twice in mid-January and Kelowna was looking to show some resilience in Friday night’s rematch.

After going down three goals early in the first period, the Rockets clawed back to get within one thanks to goals from Kaedan Korczak and Ethan Ernst.

Kelowna, still missing key players due to injuries, were out-shot 33 to 20 and were unable to muster much more offence in the second half of the game as Portland notched four more goals.

Nolan Foote, Sean Comrie, Devin Steffler, Michael Farren, Matthew Wedman and Liam Kindree remain out for the Rockets.

Kelowna will take another shot at the Winterhawks Saturday night at Prospera Place.

In Trail, West Kelowna was playing one of their best games of the season before the Smoke Eaters shocked the Warriors with four goals in the third period to steal the win after being down 3-1 to West Kelowna at the start of the final frame.

Trail’s Kent Johnson, one of the hottest players in the BCHL, was again dynamite for the Smoke Eaters, notching a hat-trick as well as a highlight of the season with a lacrosse-style goal from behind the net, his second scored goal like that this year.

Elan Bar Lev Wise scored his first two goal for the Warriors since being acquired in a trade in January. West Kelowna’s Holden Kodak and Colby Elmer notched the other two goals.

With only six games remaining in the season and West Kelowna still fighting for an optimal playoff position, the near-win stings just a bit more as Trail stole one from right under the Warriors’ noses.

The Warriors will visit the conference-leading Penticton Vees on Sunday before their next home game, a rematch against Trail, on Feb. 17.

READ MORE: City of West Kelowna invites bidders for Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant contractors

On the winning side of the ice on Friday night was the Kelowna Chiefs.

Rutland’s team cruised to a 9-3 win over the Creston Valley Thundercats to notch their 27th win of the season to stay atop the Okanagan/Shuswap conference of the KIJHL.

The Chiefs continue their final stretch to the playoffs Saturday night against the Columbia Valley Rockies before returning home for the season finale on Feb. 22.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Kelowna RocketsWest Kelowna Warriors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Car show a hit at Vernon retirement resort

GALLERY: No drooling over the classic cruisers parked at Parkwood Retirement Resort

GALLERY: Vernon painter captures beauty of Davison Orchards in new series

In a new painting, card series, artist Patricia Lawton was inspired by resident dog, Harlow

Okanagan, Creston cherry and apple farms in need of workers

The worker shortage is due to the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Lake Country-born paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter reunited with owner

Nicola Sanders says her son’s puppy was ‘overjoyed’ to see her owner again

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Most Read