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Bruggen-Cate brings the Teddy’s as the Rockets down the Ice 5-2 on Teddy Bear Toss night
Cindy Rogers

The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Kootenay Ice 5-2 on Saturday night in Kelowna on Teddy Bear Toss night.

It didn’t take long to witness teddy bears flooding the ice at Prospera Place. Conner Bruggen-Cate(5) opened the scoring at 12:09 of the first period, banking a shot off of the post and in to let the bears fly. After the cleanup of four full truckloads of bears, the game resumed. Through 20 minutes of play Kelowna held a 1-0 lead.

The Rockets held onto a one goal lead until 17:56 of the middle frame when Braydyn Chizen(2) extended that lead to 2-0. Kelowna held a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes.

Kole Lind made an immediate impact upon his return to the Rockets lineup after missing the last seven games due to illness. Lind one-timed a pass from Dillon Dube for his 12th of the season at 6:30 of the final stanza. Martin Bodak(1) got Kootenay on the board at 9:42. Nolan Foote(7) scored a power play marker for Kelowna at 15:19, and 31 seconds later James Hilsendager(5) ripped home a point shot to make it 5-1. Kootenay would score once more but that would be it as the Rockets take it 5-2.

Roman Basran’s record improves to 2-0-0-0 after stopping 24 of 26 shots he faced.

Kelowna’s record improves to 17-8-2-1 having won their last five games in a row.

The Teddy Bear Toss is an annual event in which fans¬†bring new teddy bears to the game and when the Rockets score their first goal of the night, the fans let the bears rain. The Rockets donate the bears collected to the patients of the Kelowna General Hospital over the holidays. Following Bruggen-Cate’s goal tonight, four full truckloads of teddy bears were collected off of the ice and delivered to the K.G.H. Players will be heading to the hospital on Sunday to deliver the bears to patients in their rooms.

Saturday night was the final home game before the Christmas break as the Rockets embark on a six game prairie road trip through Saskatchewan starting on December 8th in Regina. The Rockets play the following night in Brandon against the Wheat Kings before heading to Moose Jaw for a battle with the Warriors on the 12th of December. Kelowna visits Swift Current on the 13th, Prince Albert on the 15th, and they finish off the road trip in Saskatoon on the 16th.

The next home game following Saturday will be December 27th when the Rockets host the Kamloops Blazers at Prospera Place for a holiday B.C. Division battle.

Tickets are available for Rockets home games through selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.

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