Rockets forwards Zach Franko (right) and Myles Bell celebrate a first period goal against the Kamloops Blazers Thursday at Prospera Place.

Rockets drub Blazers for 13th straight win at home

Zach Franko has five points as Kelowna moves to within four points of Kamloops for top spot in the WHL's B.C. Division

Thanks in large part to the Kelowna Rockets, the Kamloops Blazers’ lead in the B.C. Division is no longer one of comfort.

The Rockets scored a convincing 7-3 victory over the Blazers Thursday at Prospera Place to move to within four points of Kamloops for top spot.

Zach Franko scored two goals and added three assists as Kelowna posted its 13th consecutive WHL victory on home ice, and 17th win in the last 21 games.

At the beginning of November, the Rockets (24-10-1-1) trailed the Blazers (25-10-2-2) by 18 points. Kelowna holds four games in hand.

Ryan Olsen added two goals and two assists, JT Barnett scored twice and Myles Bell added his team-leading 21st of the season as the Rockets looked every bit as dominant as the team that headed into the Christmas break.

“I’m very pleased,” Rockets head coach Ryan Huska told AM 1150 following the game. “When I left my house today, I wasn’t sure what kind of game we were going to have, but this group continues to surprise me. They enjoy winning, they enjoy coming to the rink, and they come prepared to play. It was fun to watch.”

The Rockets blew open the game with a five-goal second period, including scoring twice on 5-on-3 power plays.

“That’s the best our 5-on-3 has looked in years,” Huska said.

On the subject of Franko’s performance, Huska said the best may yet be to come.

“We’re just seeing the tip of what he can do. He has the ability to score, he has the ability to make plays to open men. He has a skill set that not too many guys have. Hopefully it’s  sign of what we’re going to see from Zach.”

Goaltender Jackson Whistle stopped 19 shots in the Kelowna net to push his record to 8-2.

Jake Morrissey, 15, served as the backup to Whistle as Jordon Cooke continues to recover from injury.

Veteran defenceman MacKenzie Johnston returned to the Kelowna lineup after missing 20 games with a knee injury, played 20 minutes, registered one assist and posted a +3 rating.

Rockets captain Colton Sissons sat out his ninth straight game with an upper body injury.

The Rockets played in front of their first sellout of the season at Prospera Place as announced attendance was 6,257.

The Rockets will visit the Vancouver Giants on Friday night.

 

Just Posted

5 Kelowna photographers you need to follow on Instagram

Check out this week’s list of great local photographers.

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

Evacuation orders and alerts issued for North Thompson

Some properties in Electoral Area ‘E’ and ‘J’ are asked to leave immediately

City of Kelowna water advisory expanded

Residents of Swick Road water system added to the advisory

Kelowna, what do you look for in a mayoral candidate?

Black Press reporter Matthew Abrey hit the streets to ask the question

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Two new fires now burning in the Shuswap

Fire crews gain control of Perry River blaze between Sicamous and Revelstoke

Man charged in 2015 Sicamous robbery to be sentenced in August

Accused, who was shot by police, pleads guilty to three of nine counts.

Unusually nasty odour repulses Chase residents

Village staff trying to get bacteria working in lagoons at sewage treatment plant

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Run for beer along Penticton’s Ale Trail

The second annual Penticton Beer Run takes place on June 2

Most Read