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Prince George Cougars outworked and outgunned the Kelowna Rockets in a 2-1 win Tuesday

Rockets outworked in loss

It was not the typical Kelowna Rockets effort Tuesday night.

The Rockets were outplayed, outbattled and outworked at almost every turn in a 2-1 loss to the Prince George Cougars at Prospera Place.

"The Cougars won every battle. We were watching a lot of the game just hoping that somebody else would do the work, and left a lot of our players out on islands by themselves," said head coach Kris Mallette.

"Credit to the Cougars, they played a very disciplined team game. They blocked a lot of shots. Their compete was there from the get-go."

The loss snapped a string of six straight in which the Rockets had secured at least a point in the standings.

The lone Rockets goal came late in the game when Mark Liwiski did battle for position in front of Taylor Gauthier, grabbed a bouncing puck with his back to the net, spun and fired a shot that eluded the Cougars netminder.

Koehn Ziemmer opened the scoring seven minutes into the game. He picked up a loose puck along the right boards, curled toward the slot, and lifted a backhand from the bottom of the faceoff circle that seemed to surprise Cole Schwebius.

Connor Bowie doubled the lead five minutes into the second.

With the Rockets on the power play, Gauthier made a great stop off Alex Swetlikoff on a deflection in tight. Bowie scooped up the puck and raced down the right wing on a two-on-one.

He looked off the pass and beat Schwebius to the far side.

It was one of five power play opportunities which went for naught for the Rockets on the evening.

"Taylor Gauthier is a very, very good goaltender when he is able to see the puck. I think we had 30 shots, and I would say at least a dozen of them, he was just standing there to catch it. No traffic, no nothing," said Mallette.

"A lot of our goals this year came from the blue paint and today unfortunately our players felt we had to play on the outside hoping to get a puck rather than doing the work."

The Rockets pulled Schwebius with just over two minutes left but were unable to generate any really good chances with the extra attacker.

Tuesday's loss snapped a string of six straight in which the Rockets had picked up at least one point in the standings.

The Rockets get a few days off before heading to Kamloops for games against Vancouver Friday and Prince George Sunday.

They'll close out the abbreviated season at home with games against Kamloops Monday and Victoria next Wednesday.



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