The Portland Winterhawks defeated the Kelowna Rockets 5-4 in game three of their WHL Western Conference semi-final, taking a two to one series lead on the Rockets.
A season-low crowd of just 4,884 took in the game at Prospera Place, leaving the usually sold out building with about 1,400 empty seats.
About the same number were available for Wednesdays game as well leaving plenty of empty seats as the hard hitting and intense series continued in Kelowna.
Riley Boychuk scored the game winner on a two man advantage midway through the third period. His goal made the game 5-3. Kelowna’s Colton Sissons made it 5-4 with a goal with 2:15 to play. But the Rockets couldn’t muster the tieing goal despite a big push in the dying Portland scored three times on 10 power play chances in the game while the Rockets were 1 for 7.The Hawks held the lead three different times and Kelowna bounced back twice, but couldn’t force overtime.
Geordie Wudrick, Brett Bulmer and Tyson Barrie also scored for Kelowna while Nino Niederreiter scored twice for Portland. Joe Morrow and Tyler Wotherspoon also scored.
Rockets coach Ryan Huska said it was a good effort by his team which outshot Portland for the first time in the series by a 42-37 mark.
Game time is 7:05 from Prospera Place. Tickets are available online at www.kelownarockets.com, at the box office or by calling 250-762-5050.