KELOWNA — The Kamloops Blazers (17-13-3-1) dominated the shot clock, but came out on the wrong end in a 3-2 loss to the Kelowna Rockets (27-9-1-0) on Monday night in Kelowna.
The Rockets opened the scoring 1:17 into the game on their first shot.
Defenseman Ondrej Vala broke up a rush, but Kole Lind walked into a loose puck and beat goaltenderDylan Ferguson through the legs for an early 1-0 lead.
The Blazers found their game and had a good first period, outshooting the Rockets 15-6. Through their hard work, the Blazers generated power plays but went 0-for-3 in the period.
5:06 into the second period was a scary incident. Riley Stadel checked defenseman Nolan Kneenfrom behind. Kneen went hard into the end boards and Stadel was given a five-minute major on the play. Kneen missed some time, but returned to the game.
The Blazers converted nine seconds into the power play. Ryan Rehill got a shot on goal and Matt Needham scored on the rebound to make it 1-1.
The Rockets had a couple of great chances late in the period. Tyson Baillie took a great cross ice pass, but Dylan Ferguson was solid in goal for the Blazers stopping 10 shots in the period.
The Blazers looked good in the third period, but a costly mistake ended up in the back of their net.
Tyson Baillie got behind the Blazers defense, went around the net and found an open Kole Lind as he scored 2:33 into the period to give the Rockets a 3-2 lead.
Two great chances from the Blazers would not go in as Ryan Rehill’s shot hit the crossbar and Matt Revel missed the net on a partial breakaway.
Lind completed his hat-trick goal on a fortunate bounce. His shot was stopped by Ferguson, but the rebound came off a Blazers’ defender and in the net for a 3-1 Rockets lead midway through the period.
The Blazers wouldn’t go away and got to within a goal on a Collin Shirley breakaway with 7:46 to play.
In the dying stages of the game, the Blazers had pressure in the Rockets zone but ran out of time as Michael Herringer was terrific in goal for the Rockets to help them to a 3-2 win over the Blazers.
The Blazers were 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Rockets were 0-for-2.
The Blazers outshot the Rockets 39-23, as Michael Herringer made 37 saves for the win and Dylan Ferguson took the loss with 20 saves.
Next up for the Blazers is a home game on Wednesday, December 30th as they host the Victoria Royals. Game time is 7:00pm.
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