Rockets move a step closer for 1st

The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Prince George Cougars 5-1 in Prospera Place on Wednesday night.

The first was fast, furious, and hard hitting as the Cougars outshot the Rockets 14-6 through 20 minutes but were held scoreless thanks to Michael Herringer. The Rockets starter made two big in-tight saves in the frame to keep the Cats at bay. Kelowna outhit the Cougars 12-5 in the opening stanza.

The Rockets opened the scoring in the second period as Calvin Thurkauf tipped home a shot on the power play from Reid Gardiner. Next Kyle Topping drove the net hard on a fast break and Rodney Southam bounced the puck off of Topping's shin for the rookies 13th of the season. Thurkauf capitalized on a 2-on-1 with Kole Lind for his second of the night and 32nd of the campaign. Nick Merkley walked back door for a cross-crease pass from

Thurkauf on another Rockets power play to give Kelowna a 4-0 lead through 40 minutes.

The Cougars got on the board 1:04 into the third period on a goal from Radovan Bondra, but that would be all the offence Prince George could muster as the Rockets shut them down for the rest of the period. Dillon Dube scored a late power play marker to regain a four goal lead and that's the way it stood. 5-1 Rockets final.

Michael Herringer improves to 27-14-3-0 on the season stopping 25 of the 26 shots he faced. The Rockets outshot the Cougars 37-26 on the evening.

The Rockets advance to 38-21-5-0 on the year moving them just four points back of the Cougars, and only one point back of the Kamloops Blazers.

Kelowna is back in action on Friday night when they make a one game trip to Everett for a meeting with the Silvertips.

The Rockets are back home on Saturday night when they greet the Tri-City Americans at Prospera Place.