With one week to go before the start of the Western Hockey League regular season and roster cut-downs looming, the Chilliwack Bruins picked a poor time to turn in a spotty effort. The home side lost 9-1 to the Kelowna Rockets Friday night, displaying little of the fire one might expect with roster spots on the line.
Kelowna’s nine-spot set a new franchise mark for most goals against in a game (including pre-season, regular season and playoffs), and the eight goal differential tied a franchise mark for largest margin of defeat.
A rough first period saw the Bruins out-shot 17-6 and out-scored 4-0.
Kelowna took just 1:06 to open the scoring on a goal by Abbotsford native Jason Siebert. The 2009 first round bantam draft pick scored a pretty goal, beating Chilliwack stopper Braden Gamble with the kind of top-shelf backhander that few players possess.
Siebert struck again with another beauty six minutes later, cutting across the right faceoff circle and snapping a shot upstairs.
Less than two minutes later, a giveaway by Jamie Crooks led to a frantic goal-mouth scramble and a goal by Zach Franko, giving Kelowna three goals on just seven shots.
Late in the period, Andreas Stene threaded a pass to Cody Chikie as he cut towards the Chilliwack net. Gamble made a great initial save, getting his right leg on the puck. But Colton Sissons trailed the play and popped the rebound into the yawning cage.
Things went from bad to worse in the second period as the Rockets continued to pour it on.
Stene made it 5-0, wheeling away from Matt Bissett to beat Gamble through a partial screen. Sissons’ second of the game made it 6-0 and Max Adolph scored on a breakaway to force a Chilliwack goaltending change.
Gamble’s night ended with seven goals on 21 shots.
Cole Holowenko took over between the pipes and was beaten on the first shot he faced, an upstairs backhand by Franko.
Chilliwack finally got on the board late in the middle frame on a goal by Tim Traber. Rookie defenceman Brett Cote started the play with a smart chip up the boards to Shayne Neigum. Cutting in from the left wing, Neigum was thwarted on a diving pokecheck by Kelowna netminder Chase Martin. With Martin sliding way out of position, Traber picked up the rebound and slid it into the empty net for the first Bruins goal.
The only goal of the final frame was scored at the 4:32 mark by Stene.
The final shots on goal were 36-20 in favour of Kelowna.