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Rockets blank Giants, win 51st

Nick Merkley scored twice and Jordon Cooke stopped all 31 shots he faced in a 6-0 shellacking of the visiting Vancouver Giants Friday at Prospera Place.

The win was the Rockets 51st of the season, one shy of a club record established a year ago.

It was also Cooke's third goose egg of the season and the eighth of his career.

Myles Bell with his club leading 41st, Mitchell Wheaton, Tyrell Goulbourne and Madison Bowey also scored for the Rockets.

Damon Severson chipped in with three assists.

Marek Tvrdon, a former Giant, picked up an assist on Merkley's first goal to extend his point streak to six games. He has four goals and seven assists over that span.

Merkley scored the lone goal of the first while Bell doubled the lead with the only marker in the second.

Wheaton and Merkley with his second put the game away with goals two minutes apart early in the third before Goulbourne and Bowey with his first in 17 games closed out the scoring.

"Tonight was a great sign for us," Rockets coach Ryan Huska stated on the post game radio show.

"It was our most complete game in a long time."

Huska says the challenge for his team is to repeat the same effort Saturday when the Rockets and Giants meet again in Vancouver.

Friday's win allows the Rockets to remain seven points clear of the Portland Winterhawks in the race for top spot in the Western Conference and the overall league standings.

Portland kept pace Friday with a 2-0 win in Spokane. They have now won 21 in a row and are 22-0-0-1 in their last 23.

Both teams have just eight games remaining in the regular season.

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