Kelowna Rockets goaltender Jordon Cooke turns aside a scoring chance by Tri-City's Parker Bowles

Rockets finish off Americans to move to round 2

Marek Tvrdon scores twice Friday as Kelowna eliminates Tri-City in five games in first-round WHL playoff series

With their leading goal scorer on the sidelines, the Kelowna Rockets needed someone to step up.

Marek Tvrdon answered the call with a two-goal performance on Friday night at Prospera Place, as the Rockets dispatched the Tri-City Americans from the Western Hockey League playoffs with a 4-1 victory.

Rockets veteran Myles Bell, 20, who led the team with 42 goals in the regular season and three more in the playoffs, sat out Friday’s game with a lower body injury.

Tvrdon, one of Bell’s fellow 20-year-olds, delivered the winning goal in the second period and added an insurance marker in the third, as the Rockets claimed the best-of-seven series four games to one to move on to the Western Conference semifinal.

“This was his best game and he seemed like he was engaged all night,” head coach Ryan Huska said of the Slovakian born forward. “And when you look at your older players you need that from him, and tonight we saw that. I thought if he wasn’t our best player, then he was one of them for sure. Him and Jordon (Cooke), our two 20-year-olds, were our best guys on the ice.”

On the subject of Cooke, the 20-year-old was again a stabilizing influence in the Rockets’ net making 29 saves, including a key glove stop off Lucas Nickles with Kelowna hanging to a 2-1 lead in the third period.

Cooke commended both his teammates and his opponents—who finished 50 points behind Kelowna during the regular season—for a hard-fought first-round series.

“It’s huge,” Cooke said of the series win. “It’s too bad we couldn’t get that one down in Tri-City, but give it to them, they played an unreal series. An eighth-seeded team going against a first-seeded team, you expect a type of blowout, but they pushed us and really gave us a run for our money.”

Carter Rigby and Rourke Chartier also scored for the Rockets Friday, while Nick Merkley added a pair of assists.

The Rockets will take on the winner of the Seattle-Everett series in the next round of the playoffs. The dates of Games 1 and 2 of the WHL Western Conference semifinal have yet to be finalized.

Just Posted

Work continuing on new Kelowna visitor centre

Crews working through winter on downtown lakeshore site to have building ready for this summer

Pizza delivery car stolen during Kelowna delivery

While delivering a late night pizza, man has car stolen, then runs to recover it

Kelowna’s Serwa named to Olympic team

Kelsey Serwa is one of eight Canadian ski cross athletes headed to PyeongChang

Vernon Search & Rescue find lost snowmobiler

Male, 19, went missing in Hunter’s Range area near Enderby

Kelowna attraction set to re-open after 2017 floods

Scandia’s popular Jungle Golf, downstairs, has been closed since being damaged in Kelowna floods

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Angels at The Mule

Penticton nightclub introduces angel shots for safety

Dryer explosion at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Most Read