Sports

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.

 

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