Wearing their third black jerseys, the Rockets celebrated Family Day with 4,227 of their closest friends. Together, they got the thing they wanted most on Family Day. A victory.
Led by a two-goal performance from Turner McMillen and a three-point performance from Colton Dach, the Rockets beat the Tri-City Americans 5-3.
The Rockets opened the scoring in the first with a shorthanded goal from Jake Lee, his 14th goal of the season. Madison Bowey has the Rockets’ record for goals scored by a defenseman, netting 21 during the 2013-2014 season.
The Americans got the jump in the second when Ethan Ernst, a former Kelowna Rocket, scored at the 15-second mark to tie the game.
Unfortunately for Tri-City, the Rockets went on to score the next four.
Colton Dach scored a goal between his legs at 16:26. The goal was the WHL Highlight of the Night.
McMillen then scored at the 17:54 mark of the second to make it 3-1 heading into the third.
In the third, Kelowna would score the first two to cap off the four unanswered goals. Mark Liwiski got his 16th at 7:31, followed by Mcmillen, who picked up his second of the game at 10:30 of the final frame.
Samuel Huo scored at 10:54 for the Americans, but even with Deagan MacMillan scoring in the game’s final minute, the push by Tri-City fell short.
Like most of us, Rockets goaltender Talyn Boyko got Monday off. Jari Kykkanen made 26 saves and was credited with an assist en route victory for the Rockets. Tomas Suchanek made 51 saves for the Americans at the other end of the ice.
Although it was not a sellout, Dach was eager to put on a show for his 4,227 friends.
“We wanted to show the fans the type of players we are, the type of team we are and we did that,” Dach told kelownarockets.com. “We still have a few areas to clean up before our games this weekend.”
Those weekend games are against the B.C. Division leaders in the Kamloops Blazers. They will play Friday at Prospera Place before heading to Kamloops at the Sandman Centre on Saturday.
The Rockets will enter the weekend games 29-12-1-3. They are fifth in the Western Conference and ten points behind the Blazers for first in the B.C. Division.