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Silvertips delay Rockets' bid for franchise record
The Kelowna Rockets' bid for a pair of franchise records will have to wait at least one more night.
The surging Everett Silvertips routed the Canadian Hockey League's No. 1-ranked team 5-1 Tuesday night in Washington, halting the Rockets' winning streak at four games. Everett is 6-0-1 in its last seven games.
Kelowna (52-10-0-4) needs just one more victory to set a new club standard for wins, and two more points to eclipse the team's all-time best mark of 109 points set in the 2002-03 season.
The 'Tips dominated the first two periods, outscoring the Rockets 5-0 and outshooting them 27-13 in the process. Goaltender Jackson Whistle did all he could to keep the Rockets in the game, but was replaced by Jordon Cooke to start the third period.
Justin Kirkland scored Kelowna's lone goal five minutes into the third period, one of the few highlights assistant coach Dan Lambert saw from his club.
"We played against a team that was much hungrier than we were. We thought we were just going to show up and it was going to be an easy night," Lambert told AM 1150's Regan Bartel after the game. "They've been playing really good hockey over the last 10 games and it showed."
"We got out-competed, out-battled and out-willed. They won every race to every puck, especially in the first two periods. It wasn't a good night for us."
The Rockets will take aim at the two new records when they host the Spokane Chiefs on Wednesday night.
"They're a team that's waiting for us, they're going to be well-rested," Lambert said of the Chiefs. "The good thing is we didnt't expend too much energy tonight, so we should be fresh for (Wednesday)."
The Rockets lead the Portland Winterhawks by nine points for the WHL's overall lead.
Kelowna has six games remaining in the regular season, while Portland has seven.