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A five-goal first period outburst paced the Kelowna Rockets to their fifth win in a row

Rockets roll over Blazers

Good goaltending, timely goals, breaks at the right time and confidence. Bottle that up and you'll have success more often than not.

In a nutshell, that was the Kelowna Rockets on Friday night.

The Rockets scored four times in a two-minute, 41 second span late in the first period Friday, then rode the hot goaltending of Cole Schwebius for the final period in a 6-1 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers.

It was the Rockets fifth win in a row while the Blazers, minus their top guns Logan Stankoven and Connor Zary, have lost two in a row.

"Obviously that 10-minute stretch was motivation and momentum at its best. It seemed like everything we touched went in, which was great," said Rockets head coach Kris Mallette.

The switch flipped in the second, as the Blazers peppered Schwabius with 18 shots, but were unable to cut into the deficit.

"Credit to Kamloops for the next 40 minutes, the tide sure shifted in their favour and Cole Schwebius really stood tall.

"Their five on five game, they pushed and shoved the puck in the second period. We were on our heels the most we have been since we've come back from our shutdown."

Mallette also credited his group who he says admitted after the game they didn't continue doing the little things that were making them successful earlier in the game.

"When our players can self-assess what they've done and think maybe it wasn't satisfactory and to their liking, that's a good thing for me as a coach that they're holding themselves accountable," said Mallette.

Elias Carmichael got the offence rolling just past the 11 minute mark of the opening period.

Then, the flood gates opened.

Dylan Wightman with a wrap around at 15:05 made it 2-0 and proved to be the game winner. Ninety second later, Dillon Hamaliuk used a linemate as a decoy on a two-on-one, and beat a surprised Dylan Gerand five-hole.

Turner McMillen with his second in as many nights and Jake Poole second later closed out the first period scoring.

McMillen, who scored his first career goal Thursday, also picked up a pair of assists.

Daylan Kuefler ruined Schwebius' shutout bid with a shorthanded goal midway through the third.

Nolan Flamand closed out the scoring with his first career WHL goal on the power play with a minute left.

It was another first for a Rockets team that has had a lot of them during the shortened season.

"The best part is how excited our group was that he scored that goal," said Mallette.

"We've had a lot of firsts with this young group, and everybody is so excited. I think that tells a lot about what our group is like."

The two teams close out the home-and-home Saturday in Kamloops.



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