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WHL  

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.



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