There's no stopping the Kelowna Rockets on home ice these days. Mac Engel and the Prince George Cougars certainly didn't have the solution on Saturday night.
Tyson Baillie had a three-point outing, with two goals and an assist, as the Rockets celebrated their 12th straight victory at Prospera Place with a 7-2 blowout of the visiting Cougars. Prince George has been on the losing end for three of those results, including the 3-0 shutout on Oct. 18 that started this impressive streak.
"It was important for us," Rockets head coach Ryan Huska said of his club's home success, which also included a 5-0 clobbering of the Cougars on Nov. 3. "We've talked a lot about winning at home and our guys should be pretty proud of what they've been able to do this first half at home. It's something we need to continue to focus on when we get back after Christmas."
Kelowna (19-9-1-1) now heads out on a five-game, pre-Christmas road trip that starts Tuesday in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice and wraps up next Sunday in Calgary against the Hitmen.
Against Prince George, the Rockets led 1-0 following a lethargic and sloppy first period by both teams, but Kelowna exploded for three unanswered goals and blew Saturday's game open before the Cougars finally got on the board to end the middle frame.
Colton Heffley, Ryan Olsen, Henrik Nyberg, Cody Fowlie and Dylen McKinlay also scored for the Rockets, who outshot the Cougars 33-20. Jordon Cooke earned the easy victory, making 18 saves.
"Really good team effort today, a good game from everybody," said Nyberg, an import forward from Sweden who was named Andre's player-of-the-month award for November prior to puck drop.
"That's our last (home game) now until Christmas, so hopefully we can keep it up."
Nyberg added an assist on Olsen's marker and now has five goals and 11 points through 28 games of his first season with Kelowna.
"He's been really good and we've been really happy with him," Huska said. "Some nights you don't see him on the scoresheets, but he's always physical and he can change the tempo of the game with his penalty kill, just by using his speed and skating."
Kelowna's offence hasn't suffered despite playing without captain Colton Sissons, who missed his third straight game with an undisclosed upper-body injury believed to be a concussion. Sissons was hurt in last Friday's 3-2 home win over Moose Jaw and it was announced on Friday that Kelowna's first-line centre would also miss next week's national junior team selection camp in Calgary.
Prince George (10-16-1-3) was playing without its leading scorer - suspended forward Colin Jacobs - and settled for two goals from Alex Forsberg, while getting 26 stops from Engel in a losing effort.