(Steve Dunsmoor/Submitted)

Kelowna Rockets draw Seattle for first-round WHL matchup

Last met in 2017 in postseason

It’s a cross-border matchup for the Kelowna Rockets in the opening round of the WHL playoffs.

The Rockets have locked up a meeting with the Seattle Thunderbirds, with two games left to go in the regular season.

Kelowna met the Vancouver Giants in back-to-back home games at Prospera Place over the weekend, opening with an 8-4 barn-burner win on Saturday.

It was a career night for Andrew Cristall, who posted two goals and three assists alongside a whopping +6. In doing so, he set the franchise record for goals by a 16-year-old with 26.

Colton Dach was also a +6 on the night, putting up a goal and four assists.

There was a much more subdued meeting the following night, with Vancouver taking the game by a score of 3-2.

That alongside a Seattle win over the Everett Silvertips set the scene for the Kelowna-Seattle best-of-seven.

It will be the eighth time in the past 25 years that the two have met in the WHL playoffs, having last met in 2017 during the Western Conference Championship when the Thunderbirds took it in six games. Seattle then went on to win the WHL Championship.

This year, Seattle took the season series 3-1-0-0.

As the fourth seed, the Thunderbirds have home-ice advantage, with games one and two of the series going at Seattle’s accesso ShoWare Center on April 22 and April 23.

The series will then shift to Kelowna’s Prospera Place for games three and four on April 26 and April 27.

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