For opponents of the Kelowna Rockets, Prospera Place has more or less been a wasteland this season.
The Rockets made it 17 wins in their last 18 games on home ice with a 5-2 victory Tuesday night over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers.
Captain Cal Foote had a goal and two assists as the Rockets defeated the Tigers for the second time in four nights. Kelowna was a 4-3 winner in overtime Friday night in Medicine Hat.
The Rockets didn’t have their best hockey in the early going, but persistence paid off for Jason Smith’s B.C. Division leaders who rang up their B.C. Division leading 32nd victory of the season.
“We started the game a little slow,” Smith said. “Once we got through the first five minutes, we started to get the puck on the net, spent some time in the O-zone and played a lot better after that. We did some real good things, I think, in most parts of the game.”
Foote scored the lone goal of the opening period Tuesday, beating Tigers’ goaltender Jason Hollett with a shot from the point for his 11th goal of the season.
Leif Mattson scored early in the second period to spot Kelowna to a two-goal lead, before Carsen Twarynski, with his 32nd of the season on the power play, made it a 3-0 game.
After David Quennville got the Tigers on the board with a power play goal at 8:54, Kole Lind made it 4-1 with his 27th of the season and Kelowna’s second PP marker of the night.
Dawson Heathcote scored five minutes into the third to get the Tigers back to within two , before Dillon Dube sealed the game with an empty net goal in the final minute.
Goaltender Brodan Salmond stopped 31 shots for the Rockets, who outshot the Tigers 44-33.
Rockets’ 20-year-old defenceman James Hilsendager left the game in the third period after taking a high hit from the Tigers’ Ryan Chyzowksi.
Chyzowksi was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for a hit to the head, but the Rockets failed to score on the extended power play.
Kelowna (32-14-3-1) was coming off a 2-0-1-0 trip to Alberta last week.
In a matchup of the Western Conference’s top two teams, the Rockets will be back home this Friday night for the first of two weekend games against the Everett Silvertips (32-16-1-2). Face off at Prospera Place is 7:05 p.m.
The teams will meet again Saturday at the XFINITY Arena in Everett, Wash.