On paper it was a mismatch. It was no different once the teams hit the ice Wednesday night in Kelowna.
The league-leading Kelowna Rockets dominated the rebuilding Tri-City Americans en route to a 5-1 win in WHL action at Prospera Place.
The Rockets, who won their fourth straight game, jumped on the Americans early with first-period goals coming from Tyrell Goulbourne, Myles Bell and Nick Merkley.
Cole Linaker and Mitch Wheaton also scored for the Rockets who outshot the Ams 51-16.
Tri-City’s Rodney Southam spoiled Jordon Cooke’s shutout bid with just 78 seconds remaining in the third period.
With the exception of the late goal by the Ams, Rockets’ head coach Ryan Huska was pleased with his team’s effort.
“I liked the way we came out in the first period,” Huska said on AM 1150. “We were skating, and when our forward lines are energized the way I thought they were tonight, good things happen. When were able to capitalize three times there, it kind of sucks the life out of the team you’re playing, so I thought our guys did a good job for 60 minutes.”
With the win, the Rockets (47-8-0-4) restore their seven-point lead over Portland for top spot in the WHL’s overall standings.
This weekend, the Rockets travel to Prince George for games Friday and Saturday against the Cougars. The two teams will meet again next Tuesday at Prospera Place.