Rockets and Blazers down to best-of-3

Kelowna looks to solve Kamloops goalie Connor Ingram Friday in Game 5 of WHL playoff series

Rourke Chartier (right) and the Kelowna Rockets will host Dallas Valentine and the Kamloops Blazers Friday in Game 5 of the WHL playoff series.

Over the last three games of the regular season, Connor Ingram’s goaltending gave the Kelowna Rockets fits.

That trend has continued into the playoffs, as the Kamloops Blazers’ stopper has been largely responsible for keeping his team on even ground with the defending WHL champs.

The Rockets and Blazers are tied up 2-2 in the best-of-seven first round series, with Game 5 set for tonight at Prospera Place.

Kelowna picked up a split of the two games in Kamloops this week, but managed just a pair of goals on 75 shots against the 19-year-old from Imperial, SK.

Ingram’s save percentage in the postseason is .942.

While he admits Ingram’s play has been a considerable obstacle for the Rockets, head coach Brad Ralph said there are other areas of his team’s game that also need to better.

“Ingram has been good, we knew he would be, but we’ve let him off the hook by not establishing a better presence in front of him and not making it more difficult for him,” Ralph said. “But we also need to be better defensively and be more physical…we’ve just got to get down to playing 60 minutes and not letting up.”

The Rockets’ goaltending, on the other hand, has been both hot and cold in the series.

On Tuesday in Game 3, Michael Herringer was solid, if not spectaluar, in a 40-save shutout.

A night later, in a 5-1 loss, Herringer was shaky early and was eventually pulled after yielding four goals on just 28 shots.

“We need more consistency from Mike, we need him to keep us in games early and give us a chance,” Ralph said. “There are a couple of goals I know he’d like to have back.

“But at the same time, the five guys in front of him need to be better,” he added. “Everybody needs to pick it up.”

And now with a best-of-three scenario facing his team, Ralph said it’s time for the Rockets to play the kind of hockey they’re capable of.

“We’re still a confident group, we’re excited to get back in front of our home crowd (Friday),” said Ralph. “We know what we can do, but we have to go out and earn it.

“We’ve put ourselves in this situation so, to a man, we need to be ready to go and do what it takes to get the win.”

Game 6 will be played Sunday night at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.

A seventh and deciding game, if necessary, would go Monday night at Prospera Place.


Just Posted

Rockslide closes Coquihalla northbound

Highway 5 is closed in both directions according to DriveBC

Racers connect with international event at Big White

The 2nd annual event is designed for racers from different countries to bond together

Community Leader Awards: Sheila Gardiner-Watt

The Kelowna Capital News celebrates those in the community who go above and beyond

Mamas for Mamas founder survives with new lease on life

Kelowna’s Shannon Christensen escaped a dangerous situation and lived to tell about it

Announced this week in Kelowna

A listing of some of the events that were announced in the Kelowna area this week

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Letter: Site C figures not correct

Kelowna letter-writer raises questions about the Site C dam project

Letter: Site C opponents are whining

If native treaty rights are being disrespected, just who is disrespecting them?

Albas: Canada Jobs program being politicized

Conservative MP Dan Albas’ weekly column takes on the student summer job plan

Fuhr: Pension for Life is a commitment to veterans

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr talks about his government’s commitment to veterans

Most Read