The Kelowna Rockets are eyeing a sweep of Victoria this evening after posting a 5-2 win over the Royals on Monday.
On Family Day, the Rockets broke open a 2-2 game by scoring three unanswered goals in the final half of the third period. Lassi Thomson, Schael Higson, Kyle Topping, Mark Liwiski and Conner Bruggen-Cate scored for Kelowna (24-28-4-1), which led 1-0 and 2-1 at the period breaks.
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Kody McDonald and Kaid Oliver replied for Victoria (29-24-1-2), which was outshot 32-28. Notably, the Royals are 5-4-0-1 in their past 10 games while the Rockets are 5-4-1-0.
The two B.C. rivals will meet Tuesday night for the eighth time this season. Kelowna is 5-2 against Victoria this season, including a perfect 3-0 on Vancouver Island. The Rockets are 2-2 when the Royals visit Prospera Place.
In B.C. Division standings, Vancouver (39-14-2-1) leads the five-team pack with 81 points. Victoria is second with 61 while Kelowna is third with 53. Kamloops (22-28-4-1) is fourth with 49 while Prince George (16-34-4-3) is last with 39.
On Monday, Thomson, in his rookie season, opened the scoring at 9:04 of the first period with his 16th goal of the season.
The Royals answered with a power-play goal, McDonald with his 16th goal of the season at the 4:20 of the second.
Eleven minutes later, Rockets defenceman Schael Higson, playing in his 300th WHL game, restored Kelowna’s lead at 15:32 with his fourth of the season.
In the third, the Royals levelled the score at 2-2 when Oliver netted his 25th of the season at 8:33.
After that, though, the Rockets took over, scoring three unanswered goals. Topping, with his 21st goal of the season, netted what stood up as the game winner at 10:07. Liwiski, at 16:32, and Bruggen-Cate, at 17:53, added insurance markers.
James Porter stopped 26 shots for Kelowna, as his record improved to 7-12-2-1. Brock Gould made 27 saves for Victoria. The Rockets were 0-for-3 on the power play while the Royals were 1-for-4. The attendance was 5,198.
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