The Kelowna Rockets opened up their preseason schedule on Friday night falling 6-5 in a shootout to the Victoria Royals at Prospera Place.
It took until the dying seconds of the opening frame, but Jack Cowell(1) opened the scoring sliding a shot past the outstretched leg of Royals netminder Dean McNabb. Kelowna led 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Victoria responded quickly, scoring two shorthanded goals in the first 30 seconds of the middle stanza to pull ahead by one, but with five minutes remaining in the period Cowell(2) potted his second of the night to bring things back to even. As the period was coming to a close, Victoria once again collected two quick goals in the final 1:10 of the frame to double up on the Rockets and take a 4-2 lead into the final period.
Early in the third Ted Brennan(1) brought the Rockets back within one before Liam Kindree(1) evened things up at four-a-piece. The see-saw battle continued as Alex Bolshakov(1) regained the Royals lead, but four minutes later Cayde Augustine(1) tied the game once again. After 60 minutes the score was even at 5-5 and the first game of the Rockets preseason was headed to overtime.
After the Rockets killed off a hooking minor in overtime, the game needed a shootout.
After six rounds of shooters and only one goal from each side, Bolshakov ended the Rockets night sliding one passed Kelowna netminder Cole Tisdale to end the shootout 6-5 in the Royals favour.
James Porter and Cole Tisdale split the preseason outing with Porter starting the night, and Tisdale taking over halfway through. Porter made 13 saves on 15 shots before Tisdale took over stopping 20 of the 23 shots he faced. The Rockets outshot the Royals 39-38.
Rookies: Victoria went with a young line-up in as they dressed 13 rookies and seven veterans. The Rockets countered with 12 veterans and eight rookies.
Get Shorty: Royals’ forwards Phillip Schultz and D-Jay Jerome both scored during the same penalty kill, as their goals took place 24 seconds apart to open the second period.
Sitting Out: The Royals scratched 20-year-olds Dante Hannoun, Ralph Jarratt, and Griffen Outhouse along with veterans Kaid Oliver, Igor Marynov, Matthew Smith, Joel Grzybowski and rookies Tyus Gent and Keegan Maddocks.
NHL Camps: Victoria forwards Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames), Tanner Kaspick (St. Louis Blues) and Lane Zablocki (Detroit Red Wings), along with defenceman Scott Walford (Montreal Canadiens) have all been left off of the team’s pre-season roster as they are attending NHL training camps.