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Rocket Report: Kelowna acquires towering goaltender from Tri-City Americans

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Rocket Report: Kelowna acquires towering goaltender from Tri-City Americans – Nov 11, 2021

Two days after being traded for, the Kelowna Rockets‘ newest — and tallest — acquisition joined his new team.

In a rare Sunday trade, Kelowna acquired Tri-City backup goalie Talyn Boyko, with the Rockets sending goaltender Cole Tisdale to the Americans.

To sweeten the deal for the 6-foot-7 Boyko, Kelowna also threw in a third-round selection in the 2024 WHL prospects draft.

And by Tuesday, Boyko, who hails from Drumheller, Alta., was at Prospera Place, practicing.

Read more: Junior hockey: Kelowna product thrilled to be playing for hometown Rockets

“We need somebody who can stand in there and make saves and give us a chance to win every night,” Rockets president and GM Bruce Hamilton told Global News of the trade. “That’s the challenge here.”

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The Rockets gambled that goalie Colby Knight would rise to that challenge when they trade for him in October.

But Knight has struggled to stop the puck and — after being pulled in the first period for two games in a row — fell out of favour.

On Saturday, Tisdale, the team’s backup, won his first season start in a game against the Prince George Cougars. However, the next day, he was traded for Boyko.

“Obviously a little shocked at first. I spent a lot of time in (Tri-City) and it was kind of a second home for me,” Boyko said Wednesday morning.

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But Boyko had his own struggles with the Americans, and he welcomes the change.

Tri-City (2-6-2-0) is currently fifth and last in U.S. Division standings with just six points. Boyko’s stats show a win-loss record of 1-6-1-0, a goals-against-average of 4.49 and a save percentage of.887.

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“It’s super exciting to go to an organization like Kelowna,” Boyko said. “Just the prestige here and we have a great team here. I’m super excited to go out and win some games.”

The 19-year-old will be between the pipes when Kelowna (5-3-0-1) hosts the Kamloops Blazers (11-1-0-0) on Wednesday night.

In B.C. Division standings, the Blazers lead the five-team pack with 22 points, while Kelowna is fourth with 11.

The Blazers are also riding a seven-game winning streak, while the Rockets are 3-0-0-1 in their last four games.

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Boyko, who also weighs 200 pounds, was selected by the New York Rangers in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL draft, 92nd overall.

He was also selected by Tri-City in the third round, 53rd overall, of the 2017 WHL prospects draft.

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In 56 regular-season games, he has a goals-against-average of 4.26, a save percentage of .888 and a record of 15-31-2-2.

“Hopefully it takes away room for people to score on him and more pucks will hit him,” said Hamilton about Boyko’s size advantage.

Game time between Kelowna and Kamloops at Prospera Place is 7:05 p.m.

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