Rockets claw closer to Cougars

The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Victoria Royals 4-3 in Prospera Place on Tuesday night.

Nolan Foote got the Rockets on the board first as he ripped home his 17th of his rookie campaign at 9:31 of the opening frame. That would be it for scoring through 20 minutes as Royals starter Griffin Outhouse was busy but sharp through the first stopping 17 of 18 shots he faced in the period. The Rockets outshot Victoria 18-8 to start.

The Rockets kept pressing to start the second as Lucas Johansen hammered a point shot through that was tipped by Carsen Twarynski for his 16th at 4:33. Then at 4:55 Calvin Thurkauf put home his 33rd of the year. Victoria elected to make a goaltender change to try and change the momentum and in came Dylan Myskiw. There was some pushing and shoving but no more scoring in the middle frame. Kelowna led 3-0 after two periods.

5:19 into the final stanza Leif Mattson tipped a James Hilsendager point shot and the Rockets had a commanding 4-0 lead. The Royals sprung Jack Walker on a breakaway and he got them on the board at 12:40 of the third.

Then 18 seconds later Jared Dmytriw brought the Royals within two. At 18:45 of the third Dmytriw scored his second of the night and brought the Royals within one but the Rockets hung on for a 4-3 victory.

Michael Herringer improves to 30-14-3-0 on the season stopping 30 of 33 shots he faced. The Rockets outshot Victoria 38-33.

The Rockets advance to 41-21-5-0 on the year.

Kelowna is back in action on Friday night when they host the Vancouver Giants and then again on Saturday when the Royals return for their final battle of the regular season.