It doesn't get much more dominant than this.
Myles Bell scored twice in the game's opening five minutes and the Kelowna Rockets blitzed the visiting Saskatoon Blades 9-2 on Saturday night in WHL action at Prospera Place.
The hosts attacked in waves to start the contest, opening up a 5-0 lead in the first period and chasing Blades starter Andrey Makarov after four goals as the Rockets rung up their eighth straight home-ice victory. It came on the heels of another lopsided 5-1 win over the Regina Pats on Friday night to start a busy three-game weekend that wraps up today in Everett against the Silvertips (10-15-0-2).
At Prospera Place, though, the Rockets have been almost unbeatable this season, improving to 9-2 overall while outscoring their guests 53-17.
"It's good to have nights like this," said Bell, the game's first star, who added an assist on Jesse Lees' third-period goal for his second straight three-point performance. "Everything's going well, everyone's clicking and the biggest thing is everyone's working hard every shift, so we're making it really hard on other teams coming into our building."
Saturday's blowout was in the books before the game was 13 minutes old. After Bell buried his team-leading 13th and 14th goals of the season on similar low one-timers, Filip Vasko banged in a rebound and Colton Sissons fired a shot through Makarov that ended the Russian netminder's night at 10:14. Then, at 12:52, the Rockets went full Globetrotter as draft-eligible defenceman Madison Bowey busted out a between the legs dangle off the rush before setting up Colton Heffley for a 5-0 advantage.
"It's been important for us the way we've started games," said Rockets head coach Ryan Huska, who celebrated his 200th career coaching victory. "In particular, the last two nights where we've had teams that are at the end of their trips, so if you get off to a good start like we were able to do, it really takes the wind out of their sails.
"We tried to play at a pace that maybe they wouldn't be able to match because of the fatigue."
Kelowna could have coasted from there, but instead kept it coming. Rourke Chartier, Cody Fowlie and Zach Franko also scored for the Rockets (14-8-1-1), who outshot the Blades 47-24. Jordon Cooke made 22 saves for his second win in as many nights, another relatively easy outing.
Nathan Burns and Brenden Walker replied for the Blades (11-12-0-1), who were coming off a 3-2 win over the top-ranked Kamloops Blazers on Friday night, rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the final frame.
But there was no comeback to be had on Saturday night in a forgettable showing for the Memorial Cup hosts, whose reality TV series On The Edge premiered Friday on Sportsnet.
Makarov was yanked after yielding four goals on 10 shots. Backup Alex Moodie stopped 32 of 37 shots in relief.
In the Blades' defence, they finished this B.C. Division road trip a banged-up bunch with five regulars out of the lineup - four of them sidelined by injury.
That included highly touted defencemen Duncan Siemens (Colorado, 1st round) and Dalton Thrower (Montreal, 2nd round), plus former Rockets forwards Shane McColgan (concussion) and Jessey Astles (wrist), who were sent to Saskatoon on May 3rd in a blockbuster trade that brought Ryan Olsen to Kelowna.
A healthy Olsen had a handful of quality scoring chances against his old club, but had to settle for a single assist on Fowlie's late shorthanded goal.
"There was added motivation this weekend with guys playing their former teams," said Bell, who recorded three helpers against Regina, his previous squad. "The guys in the room definitely wanted to help Olsen send a message back to them tonight, and we sure did."
ICE CHIPS: Kelowna scratched D Mitchell Chapman (ankle, one month), D MacKenzie Johnston (knee, 3 weeks), LW Carter Rigby, RW Henrik Nyberg, C Tyson Baillie and C Cole Linaker. Notably, Rigby, Nyberg and Baillie all suited up in Friday's win but were replaced by Vasko, Heffley and Austin Glover for Saturday as the Rockets currently have four extra healthy forwards, counting Linaker. . . . Saskatoon scratched D Duncan Siemens (personal), D Dalton Thrower (upper-body), C Shane McColgan (concussion), LW Jessey Astles (wrist) and RW Brett Stovin (shoulder). . . . The three stars were Bell, Chartier and Vasko, with Olsen named the hardest worker.