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Junior hockey: Rockets douse Blazers, Vees edge Bulldogs

WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE

Kelowna 3, Kamloops 2

It was a winning debut for Kelowna’s new goaltender, albeit one that started on a shaky note.

Talyn Boyko stopped 27 of 29 shots for the Rockets, as Kelowna clipped the B.C. Division-leading Blazers at Prospera Place on Wednesday night.

However, Kamloops scored early, just 37 seconds in when Daylan Kuefler beat Boyko blocker-side with a shot from the slot.

It was Boyko’s first start for Kelowna after being acquired from the Tri-City Americans on Sunday. But after getting beat by Kamloops’ first shot of the game, the 6-foot-7 netminder buckled down and put in a solid effort, stopping 11 more shots in the first period.

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

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“Not the start we wanted, obviously,” Rockets head coach Kris Mallette said in post-game comments. “But what can you say?”

Mallette said his team “got fired up. There’s a lot of hype behind Kamloops; we’ve talked about this at length, and rightfully so; they’re a great hockey team.

“But our group, I asked them to play a greasy home game and they played it to a T tonight. We kept it pretty simple and we were rewarded for it. We had quality chances and they have a great goaltender over there, and he had to make some pretty big saves.”

Mark Liwiski, Colton Dach and Nolan Flamand scored for Kelowna (6-3-0-1), which trailed 1-0 early but led 3-2 after 40 minutes.

Josh Pillar also scored for Kamloops (11-2-0-0), which was ranked No. 3 in this week’s CHL top-10 rankings. Winnipeg (15-1-0-0) is the top-ranked team in the nation.

Dylan Garand stopped 24 of 27 shots for the Blazers, whose two losses this season have been to Kelowna.

The Rockets were 1-for-2 on the power play while the Blazers were 0-for-3.

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Wednesday Results

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  • Vancouver 5, Prince George 3
  • Edmonton 4, Prince Albert 2
  • Red Deer 3, Regina 2
  • Winnipeg 5, Lethbridge 1

Thursday Result

  • Brandon 5, Lethbridge 2

Friday’s Games (all times PT)

  • Red Deer at Prince Albert, 5 p.m.
  • Edmonton at Regina, 5 p.m.
  • Calgary at Swift Current, 5 p.m.
  • Saskatoon at Brandon, 5 p.m.
  • Kelowna at Prince George, 7 p.m.
  • Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
  • Portland at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
  • Tri-City at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
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B.C. HOCKEY LEAGUE

Penticton 2, Alberni Valley 1 (OT)

At Penticton, Josh Nadeau scored twice for Penticton, including the game-winning goal in overtime, as the Vees edged the Bulldogs despite handily outshooting their opponents on Wednesday night.

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Nadeau opened the scoring at 58 seconds of the second period, then tallied his second of the night at 4:36 of overtime.

Penticton (9-2-0-0-0) outshot the Bulldogs 32-18, including 8-1 in the extra period.

Mirko Buttazzoni, at 2:28 of the third period to make it 1-1, scored for Alberni Valley (7-3-2-0-0).

Kaeden Lane made 17 saves for the Vees, while Hobie Hedquist turned aside 30 shots for the Bulldogs.

Penticton was 2-for-6 on the power play while Alberni Valley was 0-for-1.

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Vernon 4, Prince George 3

Three players registered two-point outings for Vernon as the Vipers defeated the Spruce Kings on Wednesday.

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Matthew Culling, Griffen Bar and Zack Tonelli, each with a goal and an assist, plus Ryan Shostak scored for Vernon (4-4-3-1-0), which led 1-0 and 2-1 at the period breaks.

Rowan Miller, with two goals, and Nick Rheaume replied for Prince George (8-5-0-0-0), which trailed 4-1 midway through the third before scoring twice in the final five minutes to close the gap.

Shots were tied at 27-27, with Roan Clarke making 24 saves for the Vipers and Aaron Trotter turning aside 23 shots for the Spruce Kings.

Vernon was 0-for-2 on the power play while Prince George was 1-for-2.

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Wednesday’s Results

  • Coquitlam 3, Langley 0
  • Nanaimo 5, Cowichan Valley 2
  • Trail 2, Merritt 1

Thursday’s Game

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  • West Kelowna at Wenatchee, 6 p.m.

Friday’s Games

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

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