The Western Hockey League’s most prolific linemates and the league’s top scoring defenceman were at it again Wednesday night as the Kelowna Rockets remained perfect at home this season.
Nick Merkley, Rourke Chartier and captain Madison Bowey each scored a goal and two assists to pace the Rockets to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Victoria Royals at Prospera Place.
Jackson Whistle was solid in the Kelowna net with 27 saves as the Rockets pushed their home-ice record this season to 7-0.
Merkley, 17, boosted his league-leading point total to 30, while Chartier, 18, notched his WHL-best 15th goal. Bowey tops all WHL blueliners with seven goals and 25 points.
The game turned unruly in the last five minutes of the third period, with Kelowna’s Colton Heffley and Victoria’s Travis Brown and Austin Carroll all receiving 10-minute misconducts, while the Rockets’ Riley Stadel and Royals’ forward Regan Nagy squared off in a fight.
Rockets’ assistant coach Kris Mallette, who thought the Royals were taking a few too many liberties with certain Kelowna players, was happy with the way his club responded.
“As we continued to score I thought the liberties continued to escalate,” Mallette said on AM 1150 following the game. “I love the pushback we had at the end. That’s team building, that’s great. It’s first time this year, for sure, and I think the guys are going to bond around it.”
Tyson Baillie and Justin Kirkland also scored for the Rockets who lost all four games to the Royals at home last season.
The Rockets, now a WHL-best 15-1-1, will host the Spokane Chiefs on Friday night, 7 p.m. at Prospera Place.