(Steve Dunsmoor/Submitted)

Kelowna Rockets wrap up regular season with win over Prince George

Rockets now set to face Seattle in first round of WHL playoffs

The Kelowna Rockets are entering the WHL postseason on a high note after a final win and a tied record.

Coming off of a 3-2 overtime win over the Vancouver Giants the night prior, the Rockets took to the ice at Prospera Place on April 16 to host the Prince George Cougars in the season finale, one final hurrah before getting set to take on the Seattle Thunderbirds in the first round of the playoffs. Prince George, however, was fighting for their playoff lives in a close four-way battle for the final few playoff positions in the Western Conference.

Kelowna flexed their offensive muscle early, with 16-year-old Andrew Cristall getting the home team on the board around nine minutes into the second period. The forward assisted on Mark Liwiski’s goal less than 30 seconds later to bring himself within one point of tying the Rockets record for his age.

That marker came with just over five minutes to go in the game with the Rockets still leading 2-0, burying a tip-in from right in front of the Prince George net for an insurance goal and his 69th point of the season.

Rockets goalie Jari Kykkanen was solid between the pipes, staying perfect until the final five minutes of the game, in what ended as a 3-1 Rockets victory.

The win wraps up a solid stretch for the Rockets in which they won eight of their final ten games, for a record of 42-20-1-5, good for fifth place in the conference.

Their date with the Thunderbirds kicks off on April 22 at 7:05 p.m. at Seattle’s ShoWare Center, with the puck to drop on game two the following evening.

The Rockets will get their first chance to host playoff hockey this season on April 26 for game three at Prospera Place, set for a 7:05 p.m. start time.

Tickets are available at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.

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@JakeC_16
Jake.courtepatte@kelownacapnews.com

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