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Record tying Rockets nip Chiefs

The Kelowna Rockets team record tying 18th straight win on home ice wasn't as one-sided as it could - or should have been.

Leading comfortably 4-0 midway through the final period, the Rockets needed an empty net goal from Zach Franko to squeak out a 5-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs Wednesday.

Todd Fiddler midway through the third and Alessio Bertaggia with his first of two while shorthanded six minutes later cut the deficit to two.

Bertaggia connected with his second on a power-play with just two minutes to go pulling the Chiefs to within striking distance.

Head coach Ryan Huska called a time out after the third goal and settled the team down long enough for Franko to deke past two Chiefs defenders at the blueline and calmly hit the empty net.

The Rockets built up the four goal lead on the strength of three unanswered goals during a dominating second period in which they outshot the Chiefs 16-8.

Ryan Olsen backhanded home his team leading ninth power-play goal from a sharp angle to open the scoring just three minutes into the opening period.

The Rockets then exploded in the second.

Colton Sissons blast off the right wing beat Eric Williams high to double the lead.

Rourke Chartier jammed home a rebound to make it 3-0 before Tyrell Goulbourne wristed a shot from in close to close out the second period.

Jordon Cooke turned aside 17 shots for his 23rd win of the season.

Wednesday's win puts the Rockets in the record books alongside the 2002-2003 Kelowna Rockets who also won 18 straight at home.

The franchise record of 24 straight was set by the Tacoma Rockets in 1992-1993.

The Rockets will go for a record 19th straight home win when they host the Vancouver Giants Saturday.

Before that, the Rockets travel to Spokane for the back half of this home-and-home set with the Chiefs Friday.

The Rockets are again four points clear of the Kamloops Blazers in the race for top spot in the BC Division after the Blazers fell 3-2 in a shootout in Victoria.

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