Rockets 5, Royals 1

Victoria Royals’ Brandon Cutler shoots on Kelowna Rockets goalie Nicholas Cristiano on Tuesday night at Prospera Place. At right, Kelowna’s Tyson Feist and Sean Comrie defend Victoria’s Brayden Schuurman.

The Kelowna Rockets picked up their third straight win with a 5-1 victory over the Victoria Royals on Tuesday night at Prospera Place in WHL action.

Veteran forward David Kope led the charge with a goal and two assists, while 16-year-old goaltender Nicholas Cristiano made 31 saves to pick up his first WHL win in his first start.

Trevor Wong, Mark Liwiski, Scott Cousins and Tyson Feist also scored for Kelowna.

Matthew Smith replied for Victoria (1-13-1).

Kope scored the lone goal of the opening period, beating Keegan Maddocks 26 seconds into the game thanks to a hard check from Liwiski that created a turnover deep in Victoria's end.

Liwiski grabbed the puck, and hit Kope with a pass in the slot.

The 20-year-old Edmonton native settled the puck quickly and snapped it into the top corner.

During the second period, Liwiski drove to the net on the power play to put the Rockets up by two, converting a four-way passing play. 

Cousins scored his first WHL goal 30 scronds later to make it 3-0. 

The 17-year-old centre from Prince George took advantage of sloppy puck handling and golfed a loose puck at the net. The puck deflected off a Victoria defenceman and looped into the net.

Smith put the Royals on the board with a hard drive from atop the left face-off circle at 14:09 of the second period, but Wong responded almost immediately for the Rockets.

Wong chipped in a rebound from defenceman Sean Comrie's point shot.

Feist put the Rockets up by four with an empty net goal in the final two minutes.

Maddocks also started in his first WHL game, and turned aside 30 of the 34 shots fired at him.

The Rockets power play went two-for-five on the night, while the Royals were one-for-nine with the man advantage.

Kelowna outshot Victoria 35-32.

Rilen Kovacevic, Elias Carmichael, John Babcock, Ethan Ernst, Jackson DeSouza and Roman Basran were the Rockets scratches.

The Rockets have Wednesday off before gearing up for a busy three-in-three weekend. They'll host Vancouver on Thursday before playing a home-and-home series with the Kamloops Blazers on Friday and Saturday.

No spectators are permitted inside either the Kelowna or Kamloops hubs, but games are available online at watch.CHL.ca or AM1150 radio.