WHL Playoffs: Rockets take 3-0 lead, push T'Birds to the edge

The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 5-4 on Tuesday night to take a 3-0 lead in the WHL Western Conference semifinal series.

Five different Rockets scored as Kelowna built up a 5-2 lead, then held off a third period comeback bid from Seattle.

Ryan Olsen and Tyrell Goulbourne scored goals just 24 seconds apart late in the first period to stake the Rockets to a 2-0 lead.

In the second period, Seattle's Ethan Bear scored early to cut the lead to 2-1, but goals from Madison Bowey and Tyson Baillie - both assisted by Marek Tvrdon - gave the Rockets a three goal lead, taking a 4-1 lead through two periods.

It was a back and forth third period that saw Seattle cut Kelowna's lead to 4-2 before Justin Kirkland scored a breakaway goal, to give Kelowna a 5-2 lead.

The T-birds came back with two straight -including one with just over a minute to play - making the score 5-4. But the Rockets defenders shut the door in the final minute to seal the win.

Rockets penalty killers limited Seattle to a single power play goal on 10 chances including two 5-on-3s in the first period, with the game still scoreless. Kelowna was 2-for-5 with the man advantage.

Offensively, CHL and WHL player of the week Damon Severson had two assists.

The win gives Kelowna a 3-0 lead in the series after opening with back to back wins on home ice on the weekend.

Game 4 in the series goes Wednesday night at the ShowWare Centre in Seattle. If necessary Game 5 would be played Friday night in Kelowna.


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.