JC Lipon scored three times - and that was three more times than the Kelowna Rockets.
Lipon did all the scoring as the Kamloops Blazers blanked the visiting Rockets 3-0 on Sunday evening to cap a busy weekend for both WHL teams. The setback brought an end to Kelowna's four-game winning streak, which included a 7-1 slaying of Lethbridge on Saturday and a 4-1 triumph over Seattle on Thursday. The win Kelowna really wanted, however, it didn't get as the Blazers (44-18-2-3) closed to within three points of the Rockets (46-16-3-1) for the B.C. Division lead.
Brendan Ranford, who became the Blazers' all-time leader in games played on Saturday, skated in his 343rd regular-season contest on Sunday, recording two assists in the victory over Kelowna.
"We didn't compete tonight," Rockets head coach Ryan Huska said. "That petty much sums it up. They worked much harder than we did. . . . At the end of the day, we didn't compete the way we need to compete. It's plain and simple."
Goaltender Cole Cheveldave earned the shutout, making 25 saves, while Jordon Cooke took the loss, stopping 30 of 33 shots.
The Blazers host the Rockets again on Friday to start a home-and-home set, with Kamloops making a return trip to Kelowna on Saturday.
Prior to that, the Rockets will entertain the Victoria Royals (32-26-2-4) on Wednesday, 7 p.m. at Prospera Place, where Kelowna has compiled an impressive 27-5 record on the season.
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