Kelowna, B.C. – Justin Kirkland and Tomas Soustal scored shootout goals and the Kelowna Rockets beat the Spokane Chiefs 4-3 in a Western Hockey League game on Saturday.
It was the Chiefs (29-24-5-4) first loss in three games this season againt the defending WHL champion Rockets (44-16-3-0). Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Hudson Elynuik were unsuccesful in the their shootout tries for Spokane, which fell to 0-4 in shootouts this season.
Presten Kopeck got the Chiefs on the board first with a wrap-around goal 2 minutes into the first period. Kelowna’s Jonathan Smart tied it at 1 with a goal 3 minutes later.
Spokane’s Dominic Zwerger made it 2-1 with another wrap-around goal midway through the opening period, but Kelowna again had an answer as Dillon Dube made it 2-2 with a power-play goal late in the first.
Rourke Chartier gave the Rockets a 3-2 edge less than a minute into the third period. It stayed that way until Kopeck scored his second goal with 30 seconds left to play. It was Kopeck’s first multiple-goal game of his Chiefs career. Neither team threatened in overtime.
Spokane goalkeeper Tyson Verhelst stopped 32 of 35 shots. The Chiefs play at Kamloops on Wednesday.
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