Iginla impressive in Rockets win over Spokane, Warriors blank Silverbacks – Okanagan

A roundup of junior hockey results from the Okanagan and area.

Western Hockey League

Kelowna 6, Spokane 3

Kelowna Rockets forward Tij Iginla was firing on all cylinders Saturday night, leading his team to victory over the Spokane Chiefs with four points.

Spokane’s Carter Streek opened the scoring just over eight minutes into the first period. But on a two-on-one, Kelowna’s Andrew Cristall dished the puck over to Michael Cicek, who fired home a tying goal against his former team. Shortly after, the Rockets took the lead a John Babcock steered in a rebound off of Spokane netminder Dawson Cowan’s right pad, sending the home team into the second up 2-1.

Just before the midway point of the second, Spokane’s Lukas Kral demostrated high-level hand-eye coordination, batted the puck out of mid air and beating Rockets netminder Jake Pilon to even up the score once again. The game would remain tied 2-2 going into the final frame.

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In the third period on a 5-on-3 powerplay, Iginla would score the go-ahead goal for Kelowna. Moments later, Iginla picked up an assist on a goal from Cicek, giving the Rockets a 4-2 advantage.

Spokane’s Berkly Catton pulled the visiting team within a goal, but the skill and determination of Iginla proved to be too much to handle on this occassion. He restored the Rockets’ two-goal lead before adding an empty net goal to complete the hat trick, his first ever in the WHL.

Iginla also set a new career high with four points in the game, en route to helping his club cruise to a 6-3 win. Pilon also stopped 36 of the 39 shots he faced, and recorded his first-ever assist. The Rockets next game is on Monday, Oct. 9 at home against Victoria, and game time is set for 12:35.

B.C. Hockey League

West Kelowna 4, Salmon Arm 0

The West Kelowna Warriors came out on the winning side against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, after being dismantled by the very same team no less than 24 hours prior.

Salmon Arm had their way with the Warriors on Friday, defeating them 7-3, but on Saturday, it was a very different outcome for both teams. Warriors goalie Rorke Applebee, who was pulled out of the crease on Friday after allowing four goals on 16 shots, stood tall in the net Saturday, stopping all 22 shots, and earning his first shutout in the BCHL.

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The Warriors saw goals from Michael Salandra in the first period, followed by a shorthanded marker in the second courtesy of Trent Wilson, followed by a pair of goals in the third from Felix Caron and Jack Pridham.

With the victory, the Warriors record improved to 4-2-0, and they are now in a three-way tie for first place in the Interior Division with both Vernon and Salmon Arm. The Warriors’ next game is at home on Friday Oct. 13 against Prince George, while the Silverbacks will do battle in Vernon the same night. Both games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.


Trail 4, Penticton 3 (OT)

After earning a win against Trail on Friday in overtime, The Penticton Vees split their home-and-home weekend series with the Smoke Eaters, losing 4-3 in overtime on Saturday.

It was the visitng Vees who would take control of the first period, scoring a power-play goal and an even-strength goal, to take a 2-0 lead into the second period.

In the middle frame, the Smoke Eaters brought their fans to their feet, scoring back-to-back goals just over a minute apart to tie the game 2-2. Penticton restored the lead on a power play, but it didn’t last long. Trail’s Adam Marshall found the back of the net, and the game was all even at three heading into the third.

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The final frame saw no scoring from either club, so extra time was needed. In sudden death overtime, Smoke Eaters forward Adam Parsons would be the hero, defeating the same team that beat them the night before. The Vees’ next game is at home on Wednesday, Oct. 11 against Prince George, with game time set for 6:30 p.m.


Vernon 5, Chilliwack 4 (OT)

It was a close one, but the Vernon Vipers kept on rolling with an overtime win over the Chilliwack Chiefs on Saturday.

The first period was nothing short of action-packed. Fans witnessed five goals in just over seven minutes — two from the hometown Chiefs and three from the visiting Vipers.

In period two, the Chiefs would tie the game on a power play marker from Savin Virk, and the score would stay even going into the final period.

In the third, both teams exchanged goals, and the score was deadlocked at 4-4 when the final horn sounded.

In overtime, with just 23 seconds remaining, Vipers forward Julian Facchinelli would score the game-winning goal, giving Vernon their fourth consecuvtive win, which improved their record to 4-1-0. Vernon’s next game is at home on Friday, Oct. 13 when they host Salmon Arm at 7 p.m.

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