The Okanagan Rockets fell behind early to the Vancouver NE Chiefs on Saturday evening at the BCMML Showcase, and try as they might, they could never dig themselves out of the early hole and fell 5-1 to the Chiefs in Richmond.
Trailing 2-0 after 20 minutes, the Rockets put together a tremendous 2nd frame, but were not rewarded. Instead, it was the Chiefs who scored with just :24 seconds left in the period to go up 3-0 through 40 minutes.
A pair of power play goals in the 3rd pushed the Rockets deficit to 5-0, before Lucas Cullen finally gave themselves something to cheer about with just 3:45 remaining in the 3rd. For Cullen, the goal was his 8th of the season.
Cole Demers went the distance in goal for the Rockets allowing 5 goals on 29 Chiefs shots. Demers is now 9-4-2 on the season.
Special teams were the undoing of the Rockets in this affair. The Chiefs were able to go 3 for 8 with man advantage, while the Rockets dismal power play went 0-9.
"For me it's mostly about compete level" lamented assistant coach David Whistle after the loss. "I thought we were really good in the 2nd but couldn't catch a break, and as soon as they pushed it to 3-0 we caved. Guy's have to understand that it isn't always going to be easy, and sometimes when things get tough we need some guy's to stand up and battle through that, we didn't get that tonight."
The Rockets fall to 17-8-2 with the loss and are tied with the NW Giants for 2nd place, both clubs now just 1 point up on the Chiefs who moved to 39 points with the win.
The Rockets who now lead the season series with Chiefs 2-1-0 will wrap up the BCMML Showcase against the Chiefs at 1:45 pm at the Oval.