Rockets blank Blazers

In their second post-Christmas meeting and fourth of the current campaign, the Kelowna Rockets knocked off the Kamloops Blazers 3-0 in front of 4,310 spectators at the Sandman Centre.

Kole Lind, 3 goals

Veteran forward Kole Lind handled all of the scoring for the Rockets, his second hat trick and third three-point outing his past four games. The Vancouver Canucks second round draft pick has scored seven times and added four assists for the Rockets since being released from Hockey Canada’s selection camp for the World Junior Championship on Dec. 14.

Lind opened the scoring at the 12:34 mark, potting his 18th of the season on the power play. At 11:26 of the second, Lind scored his second power play tally of the night. Then 2:07 later, Lind gave the Rockets a 3-0 advantage with his third of the night and 20th of the season.

James Porter, 2nd shutout

James Porter, the game’s first star a couple of nights ago, made 28 saves on the night to record his second shutout of the season. In his last three starts, all victories, Porter has allowed one goal in regulation time while stopping 113 of 114 shots.

Dylan Ferguson, the third star, handled 30 of 33 shots on the night for the Blazers.

It was the second straight win by Kelowna over Kamloops. The teams squared off two nights ago in Kelowna – a tilt that saw the Rockets earn a 2-1 shootout decision. Lind scored the Rockets only regulation-time goal on that night. The Rockets have won all four meetings with the Blazers so far this season.

Nolan Foote, 2 assists

Lind, Porter and Nolan Foote, who chipped in with two assists, were named the game’s three stars. The Rockets took four of seven minors on the night and the teams split six majors and two misconducts.

Kelowna has won four in a row and improves to 22-11-2-1, good for sole possession of first place in the B.C. Division with 47 points, two points ahead of Victoria Royals. The Blazers are now 16-18-0-2.

The Rockets return to Kelowna to entertain the Royals on Saturday, the third game in four nights for both teams. The Blazers are in Everett to play the Silvertips on Saturday before a New Year’s Day matinee at home against the Royals.

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Glen Erickson

WHL supporter for more than 40 years. Spent the past 11 years in Kelowna, B.C. as WHL Writer for Hockey’s Future, collaborating on prospect rankings, covered two World Junior Championships, four Top Prospects Games, and a handful of Canada/Russia Super Series events. Still feel the sting from my beloved Saskatoon Blades never winning a league title, but enjoyed witnessing the Kelowna Rockets win two WHL championships on home ice. The passion of the players continues to draw me to the rink.