Rockets face Portland twice

Kamloops Blazers spoil Kelowna Rockets' WHL home opener with 3-2 comeback win.

For 40 minutes on Saturday night, it appeared the Kelowna Rockets were going to give their fans a victory to celebrate in their Western Hockey League home opener.

The Kamloops Blazers spoiled the celebration with three goals in the third period to win 3-2. Kamloops clipped the Rockets 6-5, in overtime, Friday night.

“We didn’t attack the game (on Saturday),” said Rockets’ head coach Ryan Huska, whose team led 2-0 after two periods on goals by Zach Franko and Filip Vasko.

“In the third they came at us and we didn’t have that push that we needed to have.”

Despite the losses, Franko said the close games showed the Rockets are going to compete against the league’s better teams.

“I think we showed that this year we are into it,” said Franko. “From line one to four and all of our D, we have a good team. Discipline is huge though. We can’t allow teams to have as many powerplays as we did in those two games.”

The Rockets face a pair of road games in Portland this weekend against the highly touted Winterhawks.

The teams play Friday and Saturday in Portland before the Rockets will return home to face Vancouver on Oct. 3 at Prospera Place.

“Portland is another high-end team,” said Huska. “We have to make sure we aren’t afraid to win. We have to attack games and understand we can play with those teams. We have to learn to win and we have to do it sooner than later.”