Jordon Cooke and the Kelowna Rockets continue to be unbeatable.
Cooke, the WHL's reigning goaltender of the month for December, backstopped his 12th straight win dating to Nov. 23, while his teammates earned their fifth consecutive win by doubling the host Prince George Cougars 4-2 on Friday night.
Cooke made 26 saves in a first-star effort, highlighted by stopping all 10 shots he faced in a first period dominated by the Cougars.
Prince George outshot the Rockets 10-4 in a scoreless opening frame and 28-27 overall.
"We were on our heels and I thought we were flat early on, and Jordon made some good saves," said Rockets coach Ryan Huska. "And he continued to do that for us throughout the game."
Prince George twice led in the second on goals by Ryan Hanes and Caleb Belter, with a shorthanded tally. But the Rockets gradually gained the momentum and eventually pulled ahead for good thanks to Zach Franko's 16th goal of the season in the last minute of the middle frame, which made it 3-2.
Cody Fowlie added an insurance marker late in the third period, while Colton Sissons, with his 13th of the season and third in as many games since returning from a suspected concussion, and Myles Bell, with his team-leading 25th, also scored for the Rockets (28-10-1-1).
Franko added two assists for a three-point evening, as Kelowna kept pace with the B.C. Division-leading Kamloops Blazers (28-10-2-2). The Blazers continue to lead the second-place Rockets by two points after blasting the Seattle Thunderbirds 6-1, Friday. Kelowna, however, has two games in hand on Kamloops.
While Kamloops and Kelowna race for the division lead, Prince George (12-21-1-4) is out of the playoff picture.
The Rockets entered this two-game weekend road set wanting at least a split, with an emphasis on winning the opener, so Huska was pleased with Friday's result but not satisfied with his squad's effort. The rematch goes tonight, 7 p.m. at CN Centre.
"The two points were important for us, for sure," said Huska, "but we have to be a different team tomorrow with the way we play. We probably weren't as ready to start the game as we needed to be tonight . . . and it was tough to get ourselves going. So we have to make sure we're fully prepared as we go forward."