Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray

Wine on the line in upcoming Rockets-Blazers hockey series

The mayors of Kelowna and Kamloops have bet bottles of wine on the outcome of the WHL playoff series between their two teams.

Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray has “enthusiastically” accepted a friendly bet with by Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar in anticipation of the Kelowna Rockets-Kamloops Blazers WHL round two playoff series.

On Friday, Milobar said he will send a bottle of Kamloops wine to Gray if the Blazers lose the best-of-seven the series. Gray immediatley picked up the challenge and promised a bottle of Kelowna wine for his counterpart if the Rockets lose.

But, in a light-hearted bid to rev up the rivalry, Gray wondered aloud about Milobar’s offer.

“My first response was ‘I didn’t know Kamloops made wine,’” joked Gray when asked about he bet . “I thought it was all hops and hay up there. However, as a big supporter of B.C. wines, I’m very pleased to accept this challenge.”

But he added he will be faced with a dilemma if the Rockets lose.

“In the unlikely scenario that the Rockets are not successful, my biggest challenge will be trying to choose from all the award-winning wines we have here,” said Gray.

There are nearly 40 wineries in the Kelowna area, many of which have won national and international acclaim in recent years.

Kelowna hosts the first two games of the series at Prospera Place on Saturday at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Kelowna finished nine points ahead of Kamloops in the regular season. The last time the Rockets and Blazers met in the playoffs was 2009, when Kelowna swept the series in four games.

The Rockets are coming off an exciting, emotional and historic comeback in its first-round series with the Seattle Thunderbirds Wednesday night at Prospera Place.

The Rockets won that game 3-2 in overtime to claim its fourth straight win of the series. The Rockets are just the second team ever in the WHL to come back in a playoff series after losing the first three games.