Kelowna Rockets' forward Ryan Olsen tries to sneak a rebound past Tri-City Americans' netminder Eric Comrie in WHL playoff action Sunday night at Prospera Place.

Rockets down Americans to take 2-0 series lead

Kelowna posts back-to-back 3-1 wins over Tri-City in opening round of WHL post-season

The Kelowna Rockets knew they’d be challenged to get the puck past Eric Comrie in the opening round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

And while the Tri-City Americans’ netminder has been solid—and at times, even spectacular—the Rockets have found enough cracks in the armour to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

On Sunday at Prospera Place, Ryan Olsen’s goal late in the opening period stood up as the winner, as the Rockets downed the Americans by a 3-1 score for the second straight night.

While it was a duplicate of Saturday night’s final score, Rockets head coach Ryan Huska liked more of what he saw from his club in Game 2.

“We were skating more and were around pucks a little more than before,” said Huska, whose team outshot the Ams 47-25. “By the end of the night we were able to wear them down a little bit. They’ve played well, they haven’t given us much and as expected, when we have gotten opportunities their goaltender has been there to make saves.”

After Tri-City’s Phillip Tot opened the scoring midway through the first, Myles Bell’s second power play marker of the series at 14:40 of the first evened the count.

Olsen then connected at 17:18 of the first to put the Rockets ahead to stay.

“We wanted to get pucks on the net, we knew (Comrie) wasn’t going to give us too many opportunities,” said Olsen, the game’s first star. “That was our game plan, to just keep shooting the puck. We just stuck with it and came out with the win.”

Joe Gatenby provided the Rockets some insurance with his first ever WHL goal at the three-minute mark of the second period on a shot from the point.

Gatenby, a 16-year-old defenceman, had no goals and six assists in his first 45 WHL games. “When it went in it felt pretty nice,” he said. “I went the whole season without getting one, so it felt pretty good to get it out of the way.”

At the other end of the rink from Comrie, Jordon Cooke allowed just one Ams marker for the second straight game and made 24 stops in the victory.

The series now shifts to Kennewick, Wash., where the Rockets and Americans will meet for Game 3 on Tuesday night, and Game 4 on Wednesday. A fifth game, if necessary, will be played Friday in Kelowna.

 

 

Just Posted

Rockslide closes Coquihalla northbound

Highway 5 is closed in both directions according to DriveBC

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

Big White ski instructor named Top 10 in Canada

Big White’s Josh Foster has been selected for the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) Interski team

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