Troy Murray watches as his shot goes past Kelowna Rockets goalie Brodan Salmond for their opening goal on Teddy Bear Toss night 2016.

Troy Murray watches as his shot goes past Kelowna Rockets goalie Brodan Salmond for their opening goal on Teddy Bear Toss night 2016.

Rockets blow out Ice on Teddy Bear Toss night

The Kootenay Ice lost to the Kelowna Rockets 7-3 at home during their annual Teddy Bear Toss event.

It was a festive night for the Kootenay Ice (6-19-7-1), but it was the Kelowna Rockets (19-11-1-0) who got to celebrate at the end of the night.

In their 18th annual A&W Teddy Bear, Toque and Mitten Toss night, the Ice were unable to come out victorious and ended a four-game stretch of one-goal games with a 7-3 beat down.

“Nothing went right [tonight], which is unfortunate because we’ve been playing some really good hockey recently,” said Ice head coach Luke Pierce, after the game. “We didn’t get any breaks early on and it didn’t seem like we were prepared to play.”

Kootenay was immediately behind the eight ball against a high-octane Rockets team. Kelowna scored three times in the opening frame, putting up 13 shots, while the Ice only had six shots to counter and were held scoreless.

On Teddy Bear night, fans are encouraged to bring wrapped teddies, toques and mittens and throw them on the ice when Kootenay scores their first goal.

After seeing their home team score in the opening minute of the last two years’ events, anxious Kootenay fans were forced to hold on to their plush toys through the first intermission.

Luckily for them, Troy Murray let them toss to their heart’s delight with a power play goal just under two minutes into the second period.

“It’s definitely a goal [that] everyone wants to score, and thankfully I got it,” Murray said with a smile following the game. “I think I even got hit in the head with a teddy bear, so it was a good time.”

Unfortunately, after a quick clean up, the Rockets countered almost immediately as Leif Mattson put in the eventual game-winner from Jake Kryski and Connor Bruggen-Cate.

Vince Loschiavo would counter quickly, pushing his goal-scoring streak to five games, with linemates Matt Alfaro and Zak Zborosky picking up assists.

In the third period, Jake Kryski put in two goals before Max Patterson put away his third goal of the year, to give the Ice some consolation.

Kryski and teammate Calvin Thurkauf both had four-point nights for the Rockets (two goals and two assists), while Zak Zborosky had a pair of assists to continue his strong season for the Ice.

For Pierce, the game wasn’t a reflection on any gaping holes in the team’s game or a sign of major problems. It was just an off-night for the team.

“It just wasn’t our night,” he said. “We haven’t been bad for quite some time… we couldn’t get a bounce, we couldn’t execute any passes. [Kelowna] is a big physical team [and] we talked about that, but it caught us off guard a bit [since] we haven’t played a team like that in awhile.”

“We just need to put it behind us and move on.”

The loss against Kelowna comes off the heels of a tough loss in Spokane on Friday night, where the Chiefs scored with just over a minute left in the game to beat the Ice in what was otherwise, a great night for the team.

Pierce admitted that the way that one ended, may have played into the loss the next day.

“The way we lost [in Spokane] may have affected us a little bit,” he said. “We played well enough to win [that one] in my opinion… we didn’t get any breaks early on tonight and it festered and turned into this result.”

Although there weren’t many positives coming out of the night, the Ice managed to score twice on five power play chances while shutting down the Rockets on all five of their man-advantages.

Pierce felt his team did an okay job of keeping their cool, despite the frustration of the night.

“I didn’t think we were overly undisciplined in general, it was just bad timing on the penalties that we took,” he said. “I’m not going to over-analyze this game, it was just one of those days for us.”

The Ice’s next game is on Wednesday as they take on the Swift Current Broncos at home.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read