Rockets eke out win

The Kelowna Rockets did just enough to squeeze out a win over the cellar-dwelling Edmonton Oil Kings Tuesday at Prospera Place.

The Rockets had their way with the Oil Kings early in the first and third periods, and didn't need much more, rolling to a 5-2 victory.

While the game looked dull and uninspired, Rockets head coach Jason Smith said it was anything but.

"I think the game was pretty competitive on the ice. There was chirping between the benches, and guys were engaged," said Smith.

"Just because it's not a flashy, physical game, doesn't mean it isn't full of energy. I think the teams competing, and it was a descent hockey game."

Dillon Dube and linemate Carsen Twarynski each had two goals and an assist to pace the offence. Kyle Topping scored the other goal.

Liam Kindree, the third wheel on the big line with Dube and Twarynski, had two assists.

Kindree now has multiple points in three straight games, notching a goal and five assists over that span.

"It's still sinking in for me, passing the puck, and looking up and seeing Dube flying down the wing," said Kindree.

"It's something you find special, but then again, he's your linemate and you have to take it seriously. You're out there to perform and produce."

The line produced four of the five goals, including goals in the opening 30 seconds of the first and third.

On the first shift of the game, Twarynski appeared to chop the puck with one hand, sending Dube on a breakaway from the Edmonton blueline. His wrist shot from about 15 feet out beat Travis Child blocker side.

Kyle Topping made it 2-0 four minutes later, picking up his own rebound in the slot and beating Child along the ice.

After the Oil Kings got one back, Dube restored the two-goal lead, taking a pass from Kindree and streaking down the left wing. His shot from the left circle beat Child to the far side.

The Oil Kings made it close again with the lone goal of the second on a power play, but again, at the start of the third, it was the big line that increased the lead back to two.

A hard forecheck allowed the Rockets to keep the puck inside Edmonton's end. Dube stole the puck in the slot and, instead of shooting, found Twarynski at the edge of the crease. He chipped home his 11th of the season.

"Any time you can score a goal early in the period, it's good for momentum and good for the energy on the bench," said Smith.

"Guys have really talked between periods and at the start of the game to make sure we are coming out jumping and ready to play. It was good to start the game the right way and good to come out at the start of the third and score a goal."

Twarynski closed out the scoring into an empty net.

The Rockets have now won all three games on their current four game home stand, and have won six straight on home ice overall.

Tuesday;s win, coupled with Victoria's 5-3 loss at home to the Red Deer Rebels moves the Rockets to within four points of the BC Division leading Royals.

Kelowna has also played two fewer games.

They close out the home stand Friday when Lethbridge comes to town.

The Rockets will travel to Vancouver Saturday.


Rockets look to drill Oil

The Kelowna Rockets continue a brief four-game home stand Tuesday night at Prospera Place when they welcome the Edmonton Oil Kings to town.

It's the second of four straight home dates against Central Division opponents, and first of two meetings between the two teams at Prospera Place this season.

The Rockets come into Tuesday's tilt o n a two-game winning streak after back-to-back wins over the weekend, while the Oil Kings, on the third game of a five-game BC Division road trip, have lost six straight.

Rockets assistant coach Kris Mallette hopes his club is able to build on recent success on home ice, where they've won five in a tow.

"We'll watch video of their last few games to get an idea of what their tendencies may be but our focus primarily will be about how we play," said Mallette.

"We'll then put a game plan together and it becomes up to the players to execute, and when they do we're a hard team to play against."

The Rockets close out their four-game home stand against Lethbridge Friday before heading to the coast to meet the Vancouver Giants Saturday.

They find themselves just six points in back to division leading Victoria. The Rockets hold two games in hand.

Rockets power by Rebels

Special teams were the difference Saturday night in the Kelowna Rockets 5-2 win over the visiting Red Deer Rebels.

The Rockets scored three times with the man advantage while holding the Rebels at bay on their five opportunities. A stark contrast from the night before when the Rockets allowed three power play goals.

Liam Kindree led the way for the Rockets, assisting on the game's opening goal, and scoring the second. It's the second straight multi-point game for Kindree.

The rookie from North Vancouver was named the game's first star.

Kole Lind, James Hilsendager and Braydyn Chizen also had a goal and an assist. Dillon Dube scored the other goal for the Rockets.

Leif Mattson had a pair of assists.

Dube and Kindree got the Rockets rolling with the man advantage in the opening 20 minutes. Jared Dmytriw got one of those back for the Rebels before the end of the second.

The Rockets pulled away with three unanswered goals in the second.

Hilsendager and Chizen scored 26 seconds apart before Lind closed out the scoring for the Rockets.

Carson Sass rounded out the scoring in the third.

James Porter picked up his second win in as many nights, turning away 29 shots to improve his record to 7-2-2-0.

The win was the second straight on a four game home stand.

They'll host Edmonton Tuesday and Lethbridge Friday.

Prior to the game, the Rockets announced goaltender Brodan Salmond will be out of the lineup for four to six weeks with an MCL knee injury.

The team didn't say whether the injury was related to a visit to doctors in Calgary last month.

Ethan Hunt was brought up from the Junior B Kelowna Chiefs to back up Porter.


Rockets slay pesky Giants

The Kelowna Rockets didn't bring their A game Friday night.

But, what they did bring was just good enough to beat back the visiting Vancouver Giants, 5-4 in overtime.

In doing so, they ran their winning steak to 25 straight over the Giants at Prospera Place, a streak dating back to March 19, 2011.

Carsen Twarynski bagged the game winner 2:07 into the extra period. Cal Foote picked up the puck at his own blueline at the end of a long shift, and raced down ice two-on-on with Twarynski.

Foote looked pass all the way, and feathered a perfect saucer pass that Twarynski one-timed for his 10th of the season.

"I had a battle with (Tyler) Benson on the wall and I was able to get the puck from him to Cal, and I jumped up," said Twarynski.

"On three-on-three you have to cheat a little because there is so much open ice, and one turnover is going to lead to a goal. So, good on Cal for cheating. We were at the end of our shift and gave it everything we had."

To say the game was scrambly and sloppy would be understating the obvious. Both teams turned the puck over far too many times, leading to good chances at both ends of the ice.

"It was definitely not the prettiest, and we know in our room. We have to be better against Red Deer tomorrow night or it won;t go our way.

"Everything they got we gave to them, whether it was mistakes or turnovers. We were doing the complicated things and not the simple things we are supposed to be doing."

The Rockets opened the scoring on the power play when Gordie Ballhorn sent a wrist shot from the mid point past Todd Scott on the blocker side.

The Giants got a pair of power play goals of their own before the end of the first to grab a 2-1 lead. The Rockets finally got that one back during the middle frame when Leif Mattson took a feed from Dillon Dube in the corner and sent a wrist shot five-hole for his sixth.

Brad Morrison briefly gave the Giants a one-goal lead early in the third before Kole Lind finally hit the scoresheet with his 10th, shorthanded.

Lind stole the puck in the e]neutral zone and blew past three Giants on his way to the net. Lind was hauled down in front of Scott, but the puck kept moving, deflecting off Scott then a defenceman before sliding into the net.

Lind could have had three or four more on the night but missed on a pair of first period breakaways then rang one off the post in the third.

Connor Bruggen-Cate finally netted his second of the season at the end of a power play when his harmless shot from near the goal line somehow squeezed between the post and Scott.

The Giants got that one back moments later on another power play, their third of the night when Benson wired home his second of the night from the right circle.

"I think we made some mistakes," said Rockets head coach Jason Smith about the penalty kill.

"Two of the goals they got on the power play, we had a chance to clear the puck and never got it out of the zone. They spend another 20 seconds in there and capitalize on the opportunity. When you get an opportunity to clear the puck you've got to clear it."

The Rockets had the best chance to score in overtime before Twarynski's game winner when Lind was left all alone in front of Scott, but the rookie came up with a spectacular glove grab to give his team a chance to win.

Both teams had some success with the man advantage, the Giants going three-for-five, while the Rockets scored twice on their six chances.

The win leaves the Rockets eight points in back of division leading Victoria.

Kelowna does hold two games in hand.

Friday's game was the first of a four game home stand for the Rockets. They'll host Red Deer Saturday.

The Rebels will come into town off a 3-2 loss in Kamloops Friday.

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