RECAP: Rockets close out 2023 pre-season with loss to Royals

The Kelowna Rockets closed out their 2023 pre-season schedule with a 4-2 loss to the Victoria Royals on Saturday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna, BC.

It was an emotionally charged game that saw the BC Division rivals come together post-whistle multiple times. Max Graham recorded a pair of power play goals, while Marek Rocak picked up a pair of assists. Nathan Kam and Jake Pilon split the playing time in net for Kelowna.

There are no highlights for preseason games. To view the box score from tonight’s game click here. 


Fifteen-year-old defenceman Keaton Verhoeff (1), the fourth overall pick in the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft, gave the Royals the lead 33 seconds into the game after his shot went off of a stick and past Rockets starter Nathan Kam. Alex Edwards (1) put Victoria up by a pair less than two minutes later.

Kam was replaced in net by Jake Pilon to start the middle frame.  Max Graham(2) cut the lead in half with a power-play tally, but Teydon Trembecky (2) restored the two-goal cushion late in the second period.

Graham (3) struck again on the power play early into the final frame. With the Rockets applying pressure in the final minutes, John Babcock was called for tripping with 58 seconds to play. Verhoeff (2) added another power-play goal seventeen seconds into the man advantage.

  • Kelowna was 2/6 on the powerplay, while Victoria was 1/5
  • The Royals outshot the Rockets 26-24
  • Kam turned aside 7/9 while Jake Pilon stopped 15/16
  • Marcus Pacheco, Turner McMillen, Andrew Cristall, Caden Price, Jari Kykkanen, Jackson DeSouza and Ty Hurley were the Rockets scatches

The Rockets are off until Saturday, September 23 when they’ll open the 2023-24 regular season on home ice at Prospera Place. Tickets are on sale now at Select Your Tickets.

Tickets can be purchased:

  • By calling Select Your Tickets at 250-762-5050
  • Or by visiting the Select Your Tickets box office at the Prospera Place box office. The box office is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00p.m. Monday through Friday, and opens at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday home game days.

Interested in season tickets? The Rockets are hosting an open house at Prospera Place this Sunday, September 17 from 11 am to 1pm. Click here to learn more

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