Kelowna turns it on for 7-2 win -- its 16th in a row
Kelowna Rockets 7, PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS 2
Thursday night, Memorial Coliseum, 5,446 announced attendance
The Winterhawks had first-period leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the first period, but fell behind for good, at 3-2, 3:46 into the second period.
Kelowna scored the final six goals en route to its 16th straight victory.
WHAT IT MEANS
Kelowna of the B.C. Division leads the season series 4-0 and leads the Western Hockey League with 66 points. The Rockets also beat Portland 9-3 at Moda Center on New Year's Eve.
Portland continues to lead the U.S. Division, but by only three points over Everett, and the Hawks are third in points (54) in the WHL (Eastern Conference leader Calgary is No. 2 with 55).
Portland's goals came from Paul Bittner (his 11th of the season) and Ethan Price (his second).
Portland leads the WHL in goals (177), and Kelowna is second (165).
The Rockets have allowed the fewest goals (89) in the league. The Hawks have given up 136.
In four meetings this season, Kelowna has outscored Portland 31-10.
The Hawks changed goalies after Brendan Burke allowed his fourth score in 24:27, with 12 saves. Jarrod Schamerhorn played the final 35:33, allowing three goals and making 32 saves.
The Hawks continued to be without forwards Nic Petan and Taylor Leier and defenseman Derrick Pouliot, all playing for Canada in the world junior championships at Malmo, Sweden, and forward Brendan Leipsic of Portland was serving a WHL suspension.
Kelowna was able to get 51 shots, including 23 in the final period. Portland had 31 shots.
WHL WESTERN CONFERENCE
Kelowna 32-3-0-2 (66) (B.C. Division leader)
Portland 25-10-2-2 (54) (U.S. Division leader)
Victoria 27-13-0-2 (56)
Everett 23-12-4-1 (51)
Seattle 22-11-2-3 (49)
Spokane 23-13-0-2 (48)
Vancouver 19-14-5-2 (45)
Tri-City 17-18-2-2 (38)
Prince George 14-21-2-3 (33)
Kamloops 10-25-2-2 (24)
The Winterhawks have a quick turnaround, as they play at Tri-City at 7 p.m. Friday, and then return to Memorial Coliseum to face Victoria at 7 p.m. Saturday (KPAM 860 AM).
Portland leads the season series 4-2.
Burke has allowed only three goals to the Ams in their past two games, and Tri-City has lost its last seven games.