Life is getting no easier for the Rockets.
Two nights after Kelowna fell 6-3 to the Victoria Royals, the Rockets welcome the surging Medicine Hat Tigers to Prospera Place for a 7 p.m. WHL game.
The Tigers have won seven of their past 10 games, including a 5-4 victory over the Prince George Cougars on Wednesday.
P.G. led 2-0 early in the second period, but Medicine Hat scored five straight and held on for the win.
Kelowna, on the other hand, just could not shake the Royals in what was a forgettable night for both Roman Basran and Cole Schwebius in goal. That Kelowna couldn’t break out from its own end, and repeatedly turned the puck over in front of the goalies, only made it worse.
“We were cheating a bit tonight,” Rockets forward Alex Swetlikoff said.
“That’s the word I’d use. Our centre support wasn’t there. Guys were trying to look for offence. We weren’t breaking out as cleanly as we usually do. That’s definitely something we’re going to clean up for Friday.”
Kelowna coach Adam Foote said his club was guilty of making a “layer of mistakes.”
The first two goals allowed were backed up by a second mistake, he said. The Rockets were “mesmerized” and didn’t see what was happening behind them.
“It seemed like we weren’t quite on (Wednesday night),” Foote said. “When that happens, you just get un-focused. You don’t see guys flying by you to those rebounds or the weak side of the ice open. There was a lot of that going on in our game.”
After a stellar start to the season, Basran looked human against Victoria.
He dropped one from his glove and the Royals beat him from distance on another.
Foote replaced him eight minutes into the first period after allowing three goals on six shots.
The mistakes in front of him didn’t help.
“I wouldn’t even put the first two on him, but I could sense something was off,” Foote said. “(He) can’t save our bacon every time we fall asleep. … It’s not on him, for sure.”
The good thing about having to open the doors to Medicine Hat is the Rockets will have no time to dwell on the Victoria loss.
Foote seemed to have already forgotten about the loss during his post-game comments Wednesday. He said there were no big plans or changes for Thursday’s practice to prepare for the Tigers.
“The guys know what happened,” Foote said. “I’m sure they’ll come out a lot harder.”