Rourke Chartier had a goal and two assists to lead the Kelowna Rockets past the visiting Victoria Royals 3-2 Tuesday night.
“Our guys played hard,” said Head Coach Dave Lowry,
“I’ve got no reason to be concerned with the effort. It’s playoff hockey, teams make adjustments. When we started the playoffs we didn’t expect to win every game, there’s ups and downs and some bumps along the way.”
Victoria leads the best of seven playoff series 2-1, with Game 4 scheduled for Thursday night, and Game 5 back on the Island Friday night.
“The big challenge is how you respond in Game 4.”
Joe Hicketts made his return to the line for the Royals after missing 7 straight games, collecting an assist.
“It felt good to get back in,” said Hicketts,
“I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be in the first, a little hesitant maybe but, in the second and third I picked it up a little bit. Obviously it wasn’t the outcome that we wanted, but to get that game under my belt was something that is going to help moving forward.”
“When you take Joe out of the line up you don’t replace him,” said Lowry,
“I thought tonight he did too much, he tried to be the difference maker…and when he settles back in, he’ll get back to his regular self.”
Coleman Vollrath was valiant, making 35 saves in the loss, while Michael Herringer (2nd star) earned the win with 30 saves for the Rockets. Herringer stopped Jack Walker on a 2nd period breakaway.
Kelowna went 1 for 3 on the power play, striking on a 5 on 3 in the first period.
“Special teams,’ said Lowry when asked where the club fell short, “They score a 5 on 3 goal and we don’t…”
Victoria was 0 for 3, and unable to strike with their 2 man advantage while trailing 2-1 in the third.
“We had ample opportunity in the third period to generate and create some offense, and we didn’t execute the way we have to at this time of year.”
The Royals got goals from Matthew Phillips (3rd star) and Alex Forsberg, both their 4th of the post season.
The Rockets also got goals from Thomas Soustal (1g 1a) and Dillon Dube.
Victoria won the first two games at home by 2-1 and 3-2 scores. The home team has won every game so far, and all contests have been decided by one goal.
The Rockets led 2-0 after 20 minutes after Dillon Dube converted on a 5 on 3 and Chartier struck during 4 on 4 hockey.
Matthew Phillips responded by converting on a 2 on 1 feed from Dante Hannoun to cut the lead in half, 2-1 after 40.
Thomas Soustal 4th of the post season gave the Rockets a 2 goal lead making it 3-1, before Alex Forsberg fired one past Herringer from Joe Hicketts with the netminder pulled to make it a close finish.
Puck drop Thursday night from Kelowna at 7:05
Thursday, April 7th – Kelowna 1 @ Victoria 2
Saturday, April 9th – Kelowna 2 @ Victoria 3
Tuesday, April 12th – Victoria 2 @ Kelowna 3
Thursday, April 14th – Victoria @ Kelowna – 7:05 p.m.
Friday, April 15th – Kelowna @ Victoria – 7:05 p.m. (if necessary)
Sunday, April 17th – Victoria @ Kelowna – 5:00 p.m. (if necessary)
Tuesday, April 19th – Kelowna @ Victoria – 7:05 p.m. (if necessary)
– Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 2 at Kelowna Rockets 3 – Status: Final
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 – Prospera Place – Kelowna, BC
Victoria 0 1 1 – 2
Kelowna 2 0 1 – 3
1, Kelowna, Dube 2 (Soustal, Chartier), 14:29 (PP).
2, Kelowna, Chartier 3 (Foote, Linaker), 18:20.
Penalties-Hicketts Vic (roughing), 4:48; Gagnon Vic (delay of game), 13:26; Dmytriw Vic (hooking), 14:03; Forsberg Vic (cross checking), 17:01; Stephens Kel (cross checking), 17:01; Hicketts Vic (embellishment), 19:50; Thurkauf Kel (cross checking), 19:50.
3, Victoria, Phillips 4 (Hannoun, Walker), 8:38.
Penalties-Baillie Kel (interference), 19:11.
4, Kelowna, Soustal 4 (Chartier, Gatenby), 10:26.
5, Victoria, Forsberg 4 (Hicketts), 18:52.
Penalties-Stadel Kel (tripping), 3:38; Chartier Kel (high sticking), 4:52.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 0 / 3;
Kelowna 1 / 3.
Victoria, Vollrath 4-2-0-0 (38 shots-35 saves).
Kelowna, Herringer 5-5-0-0 (32 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Brett Iverson (24), Mark Pearce (5).
Linesmen-Nick Bilko (66), Dustin Minty (86).