The Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Kelowna Rockets 6-4 on Friday night at Prospera Place.
Seattle opened the scoring 1:36 into the first period as Aaron Hyman’s(1) point shot found a way through to give the Thunderbirds an early lead. Dillon Hamaliuk(7) gave the Thunderbirds a two-goal cushion at 13:52. Leif Mattson(11) got Kelowna on the board and cut into the TBirds lead at 16:11. Seattle led 2-1 after 20 minutes.
7:23 into the middle frame Donovan Neuls(10) extended the TBirds lead to two, but 1:02 later Gordie Ballhorn(3) scored on a Kelowna power play to bring the Rockets back within one. Kyle Topping(15) evened things up for Kelowna midway through the period. Carsen Twarynski(27) gave the Rockets a lead at 17:16, but the lead was short lived as Donovan Neuls(11) collected his second of the night just 1:03 later. The score was 4-4 after two periods.
Seattle collected third period goals from Nolan Volcan(17) and Austin Strand(13) to end Kelowna’s winning streak at 6 wins. 6-4 Thunderbirds final.
James Porter’s record drops to 16-6-2-0 after stopping 21 of 27 shots he faced. Kelowna outshot Seattle 30-27.
Kelowna’s record falls to 24-12-2-1.
Kelowna was without Rockets Captain Cal Foote and Rockets Assistant Captain Dillon Dube as they are in Buffalo, NY taking part in the World Junior Championships for Team Canada. With Dube captaining the squad, Team Canada defeated Team Sweden 3-1 on Friday night to capture Canada’s 17th gold medal at the tournament. Dube scored the opening goal of that contest, and finished the tournament with five points(3G,2A), Foote finished with three assists. Dube and Foote become the 9th and 10th Kelowna Rockets to win gold with Team Canada at the World Juniors.
Kelowna is back in action on Sunday afternoon when they visit the Calgary Hitmen. Puck drop is at 3:00pm.
The Rockets are back home again on Wednesday night when they play host to Dan Lambert and the Spokane Chiefs. Puck drop on Wednesday is at 7:05pm.