Nielsen may have only received one star for his performance, as in the game’s first star, but he should have been given five stars, one for each of his three goals and two assists.
The G-Man single-handedly dismantled Kelowna goaltender Roman Basran and the rest of the Rockets with a first-period natural hat trick that Kelowna never recovered from.
“When (Nielsen) has an opportunity from the hash marks in, it’s a threat every time,” Rockets head coach Kris Mallette told Global News.
The Rockets’ 20 shots on goal, however, wasn’t threatening for Vancouver netminder Trent Miner, who turned them all way for the shutout.
“Miner is a fantastic goalie. He is one of the top goalies in this B.C. Division,” Mallette said.
“He made the saves he had to make. We missed some that we would probably want back.”
After the first period, another minor pulled out a few stops of his own.
Fifteen-year-old under-ager Mazden Leslie scored his first WHL goal in his league debut and then proceeded to add a second for good measure.
For the Rockets, the 6-0 defeat was a tough pill to swallow after dethroning the Victoria Royals 5-0 at home on Friday.
The team will have to forget Sunday night’s lopsided loss when they face the Kamloops Blazers on Tuesday at Prospera Place.
“We play so many games in such a short amount of time that if we are to dwell on the negative that snowball will only continue to grow,” Mallette said.
As for who would get the start in net against Kamloops on Tuesday at Prospera, Mallette was coy.
“I’m not telling you nothing,” Mallette said laughingly.
“You will know that it will either be Roman Basran or Cole Schwebius.”