Kole Lind and the Kelowna Rockets put up a 10-spot against Tyler Robertson and the Edmonton Oil Kings in WHL action Wednesday night at Prospera Place. (Warren Henderson/Capital News)

Rockets hit 10 against Oil Kings

Kelowna drubs slumping Edmonton, stays in pursuit of Kamloops and Prince George in BC Division

On Tuesday night, the Edmonton Oil Kings were the victims of a 7-0 pasting at the hands of the hometown Kamloops Blazers.

Twenty-four hours later, the Kelowna Rockets showed no mercy on their Alberta opponents.

Captain Rodney Southam scored his second career WHL hat-trick and added an assist to lead the Rockets to a 10-1 plundering of the slumping Oil Kings Wednesday at Prospera Place.

The surging Rockets have won eight of their last 10 games, while Edmonton has managed just a pair of victories in their last 22 games.

Kelowna jumped on Edmonton early with three first-period goals and never looked back, while outshooting the Oil Kings 53-15.

Despite the disparity between the teams, Southam said his teammates did an admirable job of staying focused for the better part of the game.

“It’s hard but then again you’ve got to keep your mind in it,” said Southam, who scored his first WHL hat-trick in last year’s playoffs against Kamloops. “You’ve gotta keep focused, but it’s also fun as well.

“We were generating opportunities and scoring chances, so you stay in it just because it’s fun way to play hockey.”

Leading 4-0 after 40 minutes, the Rockets ripped the game wide open scoring six times in the third period, three coming in just a 92-second span.

Dillon Dube, Lucas Johansen, Carsen Twarynski, Tomas Soustal, Kyle Topping, Calvin Thurkauf, Nick Merkley and Kole Lind also scored for Kelowna, while defenceman James Hilsendager had four assists.

The win pulls the Rockets (35-20-5-0) back to within five points of Kamloops for second and within six of Prince George for top spot in the B.C. Division. Kelowna has two games in hand on both teams.

Next up for the Rockets is a crucial three-game, three-day road trip beginning Friday in Kamloops, with stops following in Seattle and Spokane.

Kelowna is 0-4 this season at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops and 3-6 overall against the Blazers.

“We haven’t performed in Kamloops yet, so we have to prove to ourselves we can win in that place,” Southam said. “It’s going to be a busy weekend, a lot of travel, have to get our sleep, but hopefully we’ll grab two out of three of those.”

The Rockets next home action is next Wednesday, March 1 against the Prince George Cougars.