Kole Lind of the Kelowna Rockets battles Tri-City’s Dylan Coghlan in WHL Game 1 playoff action Thursday at Prospera Place. -Image: Cindy Rogers/Nyasa Photography

Americans blank Rockets in playoff opener

Patrick Dea stops all 39 shots to lead Tri-City to victory in Game 1 in Kelowna

Patrick Dea finished off the Western Hockey League regular season in style, earning the Canadian Hockey League’s goaltender of the week award.

Much to the chagrin of the Kelowna Rockets, the 20-year-old Tri-City Americans’ stopper rode that momentum right into the playoffs.

Dea stopped all 39 shots he faced Thursday at Prospera Place to lead the Americans to a 5-0 victory over the Rockets in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Morgan Geekie and Michael Rasmussen each scored twice for the Americans who made the most of their power play opportunities, going a perfect 3-for-3, while Kelowna was 0-for-4.

Down 2-0 late in the second period, Rockets forward Dillon Dube was handed a five-minute major and game misconduct for charging—raising the ire of more than 5,100 fans at Prospera Place—after going hard to the net and crashing into Dea.

Dube was being pursued by Ams defenceman Jake Bean who made contact with the Kelowna forward just prior the collision.

The Americans would put the game away with three straight power play goals early in the third, the first two on Dube’s five-minute major.

Rockets head coach Jason Smith said the call on Dube represented a key turning point in the game.

“The refs made the call, it is what it is, can’t say much about it,” said Smith. “Obviously it changed momentum in the game, refs made the call based on what they saw, it is what it is.

“We did some good things on that PK, but we made one mistake and it turned into three and the puck ended up in our net, that’s what happens when momentum changes in junior hockey. Now it’s about how we change the momentum and get ready for the next one.”

The Rockets started strong and fired 19 shots at the Ams net in the opening but couldn’t get one past Dea, a recurring theme throughout the game

“For the next game of the series, we’re going to want to get in this guy’s face, make sure we’re in front, not let him see all the pucks flying at him,” said Rockets captain Cal Foote. “It was a good start to the game, but we’ve just gotta find a way to finish it off.”

GAME SUMMARY

James Porter stopped 27 shots in the Kelowna net.

Game 2 goes Saturday night at Prospera Place, with face off at 7:05 p.m.

Games 3 and 4 set for next Wednesday and Thursday in Kennewick, WA.

Series schedule:

Game 1—Tri-City 5, Kelowna 0, Thursday, March 22 7:05

Game 2—Tri-City @ Kelowna, Saturday, March 24 7:05

Game 3—Kelowna @ Tri-City, Wednesday, March 28 7:05

Game 4—Kelowna @ Tri-City, Thursday, March 29 7:05

Game 5—* Tri-City @ Kelowna, Saturday, March 31 7:05

Game 6—* Kelowna @ Tri-City, Sunday, April 1 5:05

Game 7—* Tri-City @ Kelowna, Tuesday, April 3 7:05

Just Posted

Okanagan Lake levels stay steady but snowpack is growing: officials

Whether or not the tributaries and creeks flood depends on how suddenly the snowpack begins to melt,

Kelowna council approves rental housing project

Plan for former packinghouse site calls for 148 rental units

Kelowna crew knocks down attic fire in Rutland

No one home at the time as Kelowna Fire Department extinguishes small blaze on Cactus Road

Okanagan realtors add voices to anti-speculation tax coalition

This speculation tax is likely to harm the very people the government is trying to protect

Bolt cutters and bear spray used in Kelowna break-in

“Both suspects were taken into police custody…”

Sunshine and above-average temperatures all week

We can expect to enjoy this warm sunshine all week long

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Penticton robbery trial starts days before accused’s murder trial

Narcotics, cash stolen from pharmacy; accused scheduled for murder trial next week in Abbotsford

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

Toronto songstress shares indie vibes with Okanagan

Emma Cook will rock Penticton’s The Elite April 28 before she hits Vernon’s Record City April 29

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Student produces gun at Princeton Secondary School

Starter pistol confiscated, RCMP are investigating

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Most Read