Reid Gardiner and the Kelowna Rockets will battle Collin Shirley and the Kamloops Blazers Friday in Game 1 of the WHL playoffs. - Image credit: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze

Rockets to battle Blazers in opening round

Kelowna finishes second in B.C. Division, a point back of Prince George

Nine wins in their last 10 games wasn’t quite enough to earn the Kelowna Rockets a BC Division title.

The Rockets (45-22-5-0), who closed out the WHL’s regular season Saturday with a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Giants, finished one point back of the Prince George Cougars (45-21-3-3) for top spot.

The Cougars earned the single point they needed to clinch the division banner in a 2-1 shootout loss at home Saturday to the Kamloops Blazers.

For the second straight year, the Rockets and Kamloops will meet the opening round of the postseason. Games 1 and 2 are set for this coming Friday and Saturday nights at Prospera Place.

On Saturday in Langley, the Rockets completed a weekend sweep of the Giants, taking seven of eight games in the season series.

Kole Lind led the Rockets attack with a goal and an assist, while Reid Gardinder, Devante Stephens, Nolan Foote and Leif Mattson added singles. Michael Herringer stopped 29 in the Kelowna net to finish the regular season 33 victories.

Here is the schedule for the first round series between the Rockets and Blazers.

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