The Rockets can end their six-game road trip with a winning record, but they’ll need a better effort tonight against the Warriors in Moose Jaw.
The Regina Pats defeated the Rockets 4-3 on Friday night at the Brandt Centre in the Queen City.
It was a frustrating result for the Rockets, who allowed Regina to take control through seven power-play chances.
The Pats only connected once, but Kelowna couldn’t generate momentum with having to kill off that many power plays.
As it was, they nearly salvaged the trip with a late, shorthanded goal.
Pavel Novak, Matthew Wedman and Mark Liwiski scored for the Rockets, who have now lost two straight.
Starting goaltender Roman Basran stopped 28 of the 32 shots fired on him, but his record drops to 13-6-1-2 on the season. Kelowna outshot Regina 39-32.
Caiden Daley, Zach Wytinck, Kyle Walker and Ryker Evans replied for the Pats. Max Paddock earned the win by making 36 saves.
The Rockets were 1 for 4 on the power play, while the Pats were 1 for 7 while on the man advantage.
Rockets centre Jadon Joseph found Novak at the backdoor of the Pats net 7:58 into the first period. It was a nifty three-way passing play, and the Rockets appeared ready to erase memories of a 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Ice on Wednesday.
But Daley tied the game four minutes later with a power-play goal.
The Pats won the game with a better second period. Regina took the lead on goals from Wytinck and Walker to head into the second intermission leading 3-1.
Wedman brought the Rockets within one with a power-play marker of his own just past the midway point of the third period. He finished well from in tight.
But Evans reestablished the Pats two-goal lead less than two minutes later.
With Alex Swetlikoff in the box for tripping, Liwiski cut into Regina’s lead again with 4:31 to play.
He re-directed a terrific cross-ice pass from Kaedan Korczak to make it 4-3.
The Rockets pulled Basran for an extra attacker with about two minutes to play, and it nearly worked.
Ethan Ernst had a great chance with about six seconds to play when his shot hit a skate and rolled behind Paddock, but the defence was there to sweep it away.
Kelowna (17-10-1-2) will end its six-game Prairie road trip tonight against the Warriors (10-17-1).
AFTERBURNERS — The loss drops Kelowna six points back of the B.C. Division-leading Kamloops Blazers, who beat the Saskatoon Blades 5-2 on Friday. ... The loss was Kelowna’s first in Regina since 2007. They had won five straight at the Brandt Centre.