A second straight 3-0 playoff deficit was simply too much to overcome for the Kelowna Rockets.
Kale Kessy scored on the power play at 2:24 of overtime to lead the Kamloops Blazers to a 4-3 victory over the Rockets Wednesday to sweep the WHL Western Conference semifinal series in four games.
The winning goal came with Rockets’ defenceman Madison Bowey in the penalty box for a delay of game penalty after he cleared the puck over the glass.
The Rockets trailed 3-1 heading to the third period, but rallied to force overtime on goals by JT Barnett and Cole Linaker.
“Like we’ve said all year this group has lots of character and tonight was no different,” said Rockets assistant coach Dan Lambert on the AM1150 post game show. “When we were down 3-1 we battled and we kept with the game plan and we had to kill more penalties. It was a very, very gutsy efffort by our guys tonight.”
The Rockets spent much of the game killing penalties, as the Blazers went 3-for-11 on the power play while Kelowna was 0-for-1.
The Rockets, who won a franchise record 52 games during the regular season, overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Seattle Thunderbirds in seven games in the opening round of the playoffs.
Kamloops advances to the Western Conference final to play the Portland Winterhawks for the second year in a row.