Kelowna’s Alex Swetlikoff celebrates a second period goal against the Seattle Thunderbirds as the Rockets clinch a spot in the 2020 WHL playoffs. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images)

Kelowna’s Alex Swetlikoff celebrates a second period goal against the Seattle Thunderbirds as the Rockets clinch a spot in the 2020 WHL playoffs. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images)

Rockets clinch playoff berth after 6-0 shut-out win over T-Birds

Kelowna returns to action with Saturday match-up against Lethbridge Hurricanes

It’s been a bumpy ride, but the Kelowna Rockets have officially booked a spot in the 2020 WHL playoffs.

In a 6-0 smackdown win over the Seattle T-Birds on Friday night, the Rockets secured a wildcard playoff berth, but will still have a chance to battle back into the B.C. division’s third spot with just seven games remaining in the season.

“We’re still not done, it’s one step in the right direction,” said head coach Kris Mallette postgame.

“Some of the guys were here last season obviously didn’t get to see that. Playoffs, it’s a different beast, so anytime you can make them is a great feat for our players.”

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When Rockets’ forward Ethan Ernst perfectly placed a shot over the Seattle netminder to go up 2-0 in the first period, Kelowna had all but secured the victory, their fourth of the year over the T-Birds.

Kelowna’s Matthew Wedman and Alex Swetlikoff notched goals for the Rockets while Pavel Novak scored his 23rd and 24th goals of the year.

Defenceman Devin Steffler picked up his first WHL goal in the second period.

Rockets’ goalie Roman Basran made 19 saves and picked up his second shut-out of the season.

Kelowna returns to action to host the Lethbridge Hurricanes Saturday night at Prospera Place.

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