The Portland Winterhawks defeated the Kelowna Rockets 5-4 on Saturday night in Prospera Place.
The Rockets jumped out to an early lead on a power play marker from Nick Merkley. The Winterhawks would draw even, but the Rockets would have a late period surge collecting a goal from Gordie Ballhorn followed by a goal from Kyle Topping just 49 seconds apart. Kelowna led 3-1 after 20 minutes.
Reid Gardiner scored just under five minutes into the second period and the Rockets held a 4-1 lead. Four minutes after that the Winterhawks scored to make it 4-2. One minute later the Hawks scored again to draw within one. 4-3 was the score heading into the third period.
The score remained at 4-3 for much of the third. With 7:09 left the Winterhawks tied it up at 4-4. Then with 3.8 seconds remaining Joachim Blichfeld got a puck past Michael Herringer to surge the Hawks past the Rockets 5-4.
Herringer drops to 20-12-3-0 on the season. He stopped 30 of 35 shots he faced. The Rockets and Winterhawks were equal in shots with 35 each.
The Rockets fall to 27-19-4-0 on the year thus far.
Tomorrow afternoon the Rockets will be at Prospera Place from noon-1:30pm for this year’s BCAA skate. Bring your skates and join the Rockets in some Sunday afternoon fun.
The Rockets next home game is Wednesday, February 1st when they play host to the Calgary Hitmen.