Friday, March 24, 2023
Home New Release Junior hockey: Rockets fall to Blazers, Vees crush Clippers

Junior hockey: Rockets fall to Blazers, Vees crush Clippers

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


Hosts of this year’s Memorial Cup, and with the playoffs just around the corner, the Kamloops Blazers seem to be peaking at the perfect time.

That’s not good news for Kelowna Rockets fans.

On Friday night, the Blazers punished the Rockets with 60 shots en route to a 5-2 home-ice victory – the first of back-to-back games between the two B.C. Interior rivals.

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Shea Van Olm, Emmitt Finnie, Logan Stankoven, Dylan Sydor and Connor Levis scored for Kamloops (46-11-4-2), which has now won eight straight games.

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Grady Lenton and Dylan Wightman replied for Kelowna (26-36-3-0), which trailed 3-1 and 4-1 at the period breaks. Dylan Ernst stopped 24 of 26 shots for the Blazers, with Talyn Boyko making 55 saves for the Rockets.

Kamloops was 1-for-5 on the power play while Kelowna was 1-for-2.

With 98 points and five regular-season games, the Blazers will enter the post-season in two weeks’ time as the top B.C. team, having clinched their fourth consecutive division pennant earlier this month.

Coincidentally, Kamloops won this season’s B.C. Division pennant on March 4 with a 7-2 beatdown of the Rockets. The two teams meet again on Saturday night, in Kelowna, and a Blazers win would give them to 100 points – their most since 109 points in 1998-99.

The Blazers have also dominated the season series with Kelowna at 7-2.

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In Western Conference standings, the seedings are all but locked up, and Kelowna is staring at an eighth-place finish and a first-round playoff series against top-ranked Seattle (51-9-1-2) who have 105 points.

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With 55 points, the Rockets trail seventh-place Vancouver (26-29-5-3) by five points. The lead was three entering Friday’s game, but the Giants stretched it to five with a 3-0 win over Everett.

The Rockets have three games left, a maximum of six points, while the Giants have five games remaining. The two teams play a home-and-home set to close out the season next weekend.

However, a loss by Kelowna on Saturday night to Kamloops would render that two-game set meaningless. Needing five points just to tie Vancouver, losing to the Blazers would cut Kelowna’s potential six points down to four.

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Call of the Wilde!

Friday’s results

  • Prince Albert 4, Brandon 3
  • Medicine Hat 7, Edmonton 2
  • Lethbridge 6, Calgary 4
  • Prince George 7, Victoria 1
  • Red Deer 2, Swift Current 0
  • Moose Jaw 9, Regina 5
  • Seattle 5, Portland 2
  • Tri-City 3, Spokane 1
  • Vancouver 3, Everett 0

Saturday’s games (all times PT)

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  • Prince Albert at Winnipeg, 5:05 p.m.
  • Lethbridge at Edmonton, 6 p.m.
  • Calgary at Medicine Hat, 6 p.m.
  • Regina at Moose Jaw, 6 p.m.
  • Seattle at Portland, 6 p.m.
  • Victoria at Prince George, 6 p.m.
  • Swift Current at Red Deer, 6 p.m.
  • Brandon at Saskatoon, 6 p.m.
  • Vancouver at Everett, 6:05 p.m.
  • Spokane at Tri-City, 6:05 p.m.
  • Kamloops at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Sunday’s games (all times PT)

  • Medicine Hat at Calgary, 3 p.m.
  • Regina at Saskatoon, 3 p.m.
  • Prince Albert at Winnipeg, 3:05 p.m.
  • Vancouver at Tri-City, 4:05 p.m.
  • Everett at Spokane, 5:05 p.m.

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At Penticton, the Vees outclassed the Clippers in what was a meeting of the league’s two best teams on Friday night.

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Josh Nadeau, with three goals and two assists, paced Penticton (46-3-0-1), which led 4-0 and 7-1 at the period breaks en route to outshooting Nanaimo 70-18.

Aydar Suniev, with two goals, Bradly Nadeau, Frank Djurasevic, Nic DeGraves and Thomas Pichette also scored for the Vees, who had 20 or more shots in every period (26-24-20).

Ethan Mistry, who made it 5-1 early in the second, and Jake Hewitt, who made it 8-2 midway through the third, replied for Nanaimo (35-13-3-0).

Luca Di Pasquo made 16 stops for the Vees. For the Clippers, Aidan Campbell started but lasted just 30 minutes, making 34 saves on 40 shots before being pulled. Shane Shelest faced 30 shots in relief, stopping 27.

Penticton was 4-for-7 on the power play while Nanaimo was 1-for-4.

In BCHL standings, Penticton has 93 points, 20 more than Nanaimo or Cranbrook (35-13-3-0), both of which have 73.

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At Prince George, Owen Beckner scored the game-winning goal, in overtime, as the Silverbacks edged the Spruce Kings on Friday night.

Nathan Mackie, Isaac Lambert and CJ Foley also scored for Salmon Arm (27-17-4-2) which led 2-1 and 3-2 at the period breaks.

Jack Stockfish, Scott Cousins and Jake Schneider, who tied the game at 17:01 of the third period, replied for Prince George (25-20-5-1).

Matthew Tovell stopped 24 of 27 shots for the Silverbacks. For the Spruce Kings, starter Jordan Fairlie turned aside 13 of 16 shots before being pulled early in the second. Aidan Feddema stopped eight of nine shots in relief.

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Salmon Arm was 0-for-3 on the power play while Prince George was 1-for-3.

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At Vernon, Luke Pakulak scored twice in pacing the Vipers to a five-goal win over the Smoke Eaters.

Hank Cleaves, Reagan Milburn, Isaac Tremblay and Griffen Barr also scored for Vernon (25-20-2-4), which led 4-1 after the second period following a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes.

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Josh Schenk, who opened the scoring midway through the first, had the only goal for Trail (19-26-3-3).

Roan Clarke stopped 20 of 21 shots for the Vipers, with Teagan Kendrick making 29 saves on 35 shots for the Smokies.

Vernon was 2-for-4 on the power play while Trail was 0-for-2.


At West Kelowna, Noah Quinn had a goal and two assists for Cranbrook as the Bucks doubled up the Warriors on Friday night.

Donovan Frias, Luke Pfoh, Bauer Morrissey, Jack Silich and Cameron Kungle also scored for Cranbrook (35-13-1-2), which led 2-0 and 5-2 and the period breaks.

Isaiah Norlin, Christopher Duclair and Ben MacDonald replied for West Kelowna (26-20-5-0), which outshot its opponents 29-25.

Nathan Airey stopped 26 shots for the Bucks, with Angelo Zol making 18 saves for the Warriors.

Cranbrook was 2-for-3 on the power play while West Kelowna was 2-for-5.

Click to play video: 'Call of the Wilde!'

Call of the Wilde!

Friday’s results

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  • Victoria 5, Chilliwack 3
  • Powell River 9, Cowichan Valley 5
  • Alberni Valley 6, Surrey 3
  • Wenatchee 7, Merritt 4
  • Langley 5, Coquitlam 2

Saturday’s games (all times PT)

  • Cowichan Valley at Powell River, 5 p.m.
  • Alberni Valley at Chilliwack, 6 p.m.
  • Merritt at Penticton, 6 p.m.
  • Trail at Vernon, 6 p.m.
  • Cranbrook at Wenatchee, 6:05 p.m.
  • Victoria at Coquitlam, 7 p.m.
  • Salmon Arm at Prince George, 7 p.m.
  • Nanaimo at West Kelowna, 7 p.m.
  • Surrey at Langley, 7:15 p.m.

Sunday’s games

  • Nanaimo at Coquitlam, 3 p.m.
  • Victoria at Surrey, 4 p.m.

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Friday’s results

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  • Kimberley 4, Beaver Valley 2
  • Kimberley leads series 1-0
  • Princeton 2, Revelstoke 1
  • Princeton leads series 1-0

Saturday’s games (all times PT)

  • Beaver Valley at Kimberley, 6 p.m.
  • Revelstoke at Princeton, 7 p.m.

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