Kelowna Rockets forward Nick Merkley (right) moves around Kamloops defenceman Josh Connolly in WHL playoff action Saturday night at Prospera Place.

Blazers grab Game 1 of WHL series with Rockets

Brendan Ranford notches a pair as Kamloops defeats Kelowna in opener of Western Conference semifinal series

Brendan Ranford scored twice in the opening period Saturday to lead the Kamloops Blazers to a 4-2 victory over the hometown Kelowna Rockets in Game 1 of the WHL Western Conference semifinal series.

The Blazers jumped on the Rockets early as Ranford scored just 30 seconds into the game.

Kamloops added a pair of power play goals during a dominant first period in which they outshot the Rockets 18-3.

The Rockets didn’t yield a power play goal in 27 chances in their opening round series against Seattle.

Kelowna pushed back in the second period on goals by Henrik Nyberg and Cole Linaker to make it 3-2 after 40 minutes.

Chase Suoto provided insurance for Kamloops with a goal at 12:28 of third period.

The Rockets, who were minus seven players due to injury following their series win over the Thunderbirds, got one back on Saturday.

Defenceman Mitchell Wheaton, sidelined since Jan. 25 with a shoulder injury, was given the OK by doctors by Friday to return to the lineup. He was initially though to be out for the  remainder of the season.

Kelowna finished the Seattle series with four regular defence man after the loss of Jesse Lees to an upper body injury.

The Blazers outshot the Rockets 33-23.

Game 2 goes Sunday, 5 p.m. at Prospera Place, with Games 3 and 4 set for Tuesday and Wednesday in Kamloops.

 

Just Posted

Keeping pets safe at Christmas

This time of year presents a lot of possible health hazards for our pets

West Kelowna to stick with regional transportation planning

City council votes to rescind its move to leave regional planning body

Vehicle fire in Kelowna quarry

A vehicle in a Stewart Road quarry burned Thursday morning.

Crash snarls commuter traffic in West Kelowna

One was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon.

Vernon at centre of rail trails convergence

More local development input sought for Okanagan and North Okanagan/Shuswap rail trails

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Anderson extends invitation to Liberal voters

Interim B.C. Conservative party leader invites “disenfranchised Liberal voters” to join his party

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Police kill gunman north of Toronto

Police shot and killed a gunman during a hostage situation at a bank north of Toronto

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

Most Read