A long day of northbound-travel Thursday was followed by a tough Friday night for the Kelowna Rockets.
Tough meaning ugly, but, hey, ugly wins still count as two points, and the Rockets are one win richer after posting a 2-1 victory over the host Prince George Cougars on Friday night at the CN Centre.
“This was one of those games where . . . you take the end result, but you throw away the videotape,” said Rockets coach Ryan Huska. “There are things we did OK for the most part, but we need to play with more urgencyand energy. Some guys had it, but not enough.”
Asked if it was a combination of the long travel, or the incredibly sparse crowd — which the Rockets guessed at being well below 1,000 — Huska said it was neither.
“It was a sloppy game,” he said, “and, at times, we played into it. That’s something we can’t do. I thought Prince George worked hard, but at the end of the day, we found a way to win.”
Cody Chikie, with his 13th goal of the season, at 1:42 of the second period following a scoreless first, and Shane McColgan, with the game winner, at 10:06 of the third, scored for Kelowna (23-23-2-4). Spencer Asuchak, with his 14th of the season, tallied at 3:28 of the third, replied for the Cougars (16-33-0-2), who again host the Rockets tonight. Game time is 7 p.m.
Adam Brown made 26 saves for the Rockets, who won their fourth consecutive road game, while back-up Devon Fordyce stopped 27 shots for the Cougars, who have lost two in a row, are 3-7 in their past 10 games and are 6-16-0-1 at home. Kelowna is 11-11-2-2 on the road.
“Shane got a nice goal on a great pass from Damon Severson. That was an important goal for us,” said Huska. “And Adam didn’t have to make huge saves for us, but he was there when we needed him — that’s the way our goaltending has been over the last little while. They’re giving us a chance to win, and Adam was a part of that tonight.”
ICE CHIPS: Kelowna’s scratches were LW Brett Bulmer (flu), C Spencer Main (concussion), RW Jessey Astles (upper-body injury) and RW Filip Vasko (knee, one-month plus). . . . The three stars were Brown, Asuchak and McColgan. . . . The announced attendance was 1,525. . . . The Rockets were 1-for-5 on the power play, while Prince George was 0-for-5. . . . The Cougars were outshot 29-27.