Tyson Baillie (left) and the Kelowna Rockets will battle Brandon Carlo and the Tri-City Americans Friday night in Game 5 of their opening round WHL playoff series.

Rockets look for series clincher vs Ams

Kelowna up 3-1 as Tri-City visits Prospera Friday in WHL first-round playoff action

In an ideal world, the Kelowna Rockets would have finished off their WHL first-round playoff series in four games.

Still, the Canadian Hockey League’s No. 1 team is just a win away from advancing to the second round of the postseason, as they host the Tri-City Americans Friday in Game 5 at Prospera Place.

Avoiding a sixth game the following night in Kennewick, Wash., is at the top of head coach Ryan Huska’s priority list.

“We want to try and take care of business (Friday), prevent this series from going any further,” Huska said. “It’s a great opportunity for our guys to play in front of their home fans, with a chance to move on. The clinching game is always the toughest, Tri-City is a very good team, so we’ll need to be ready to bring our best on Friday.”

After taking the first two games at home by identical 3-1 scores, the Rockets fell 4-3 to the Ams on Tuesday, with goaltender Eric Comrie making 52 saves.

Kelowna had considerably more success against Comrie and the Ams in Game 4 on Wednesday, jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead, then hanging on for a 5-3 victory.

“We’ve played well in spurts, there have been things we’ve really liked about our game,” said Huska. “There have been other parts where we haven’t been as consistent, so we need to take care of that.”

Tyson Baillie paced the Rockets’ attack Wednesday with a goal and two assists. The third-year centre missed the last five weeks of the regular season with a leg injury, before returning for the opening game of the postseason.

“I think he’s getting his game conditioning back,” Huska said of Baillie, the team’s top scoring centerman in the regular season with 55 points. “It’s nice to see him generating offense for us.”

Meawnwhile, forward Myles Bell, the Rockets’ leading scorer during the regular season with 42 goals, left Wednesday’s game with a undisclosed injury in the second period and didn’t return.

Head coach Ryan Huska said Thursday Bell’s condition would be re-evaluated, but didn’t confirm whether the 20-year-old Calgary native would play or miss the weekend.

Bell scored once in each of the Rockets first three postseason games.

Game 5 Friday at Prospera Place Friday will start at 7:30 p.m., rather than the traditional 7:05 face off, to accommodate the Rogers Sporstnet broadcast.

Game 6, if necessary, will be played Saturday night in Kennewick.

A seventh game, if needed, would go Tuesday, April 1 in Kelowna.

 

 

Just Posted

Valley Road closed 24-7, for now

Kelowna road closure extended due to safety concerns to build creek retaining wall

Accused killer’s fate in the hands of Kelowna jury

The jury is expected to start deliberating this afternoon

Silver Creek RCMP search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

Above and beyond for the United Way

Local company keeps on raising money for the United Way of the Central Okanagan

Have your say on downtown parking in Kelowna

Open house scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 24.

Rally condemns violence, promotes healing

Discovery of human remains and disappearances of women have created tension in the rural community

Justice to decide court’s jurisdiction over Indigenous man

Alex Louie, also known as Senklip, is standing trial over 9 charges related to alleged gun smuggling

Province grants $784,000 for Okanagan projects

Rural Dividend grants support Okanagan community projects

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

Driver trapped for 16 hours after car flips

Member of Anarchist Mountain Volunteer Fire Department in Osoyoos made discovery while out for walk

Penticton pilots new mobile parking payment app

Eliminating the need to carry change for parking meters

Most Read