Rockets open playoffs second round with convincing win

Not many people were giving the Kelowna Rockets much of a chance against the Portland Winterhawks in the team’s second round WHL playoff series.

Not many people were giving the Kelowna Rockets much of a chance against the Portland Winterhawks in the team’s second round WHL playoff series.

But after a convincing 5-1 win over the top team in the WHL Western Conference on Thursday night, the Rockets will look to come home from the opening two games of the series with a 2-0 series lead.

The Rockets and Winterhawks meet at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Rose Garden in Portland in game two of their WHL Western Conference semi-final series.

“Obviously the media and everyone is doubting us but in the dressing room we are having a positive mental outlook,” said Rockets forward Shane McColgan after a three goal performance on Thursday night. “I think we just believe in ourselves and believe we can be the best team on the ice.”

On Thursday the Rockets were the best team on the ice, handing Portland a rare home loss to open the series in what was an intense, fast-paced and entertaining hockey game. McColgan had four points in total to move in the playoff scoring lead all by himself, while goalie Adam Brown stopped 45 of 46 shots to shut the potent Winterhawks offense down.

McColgan says the Rockets will have to continue to get better as the series moves on.

“Usually game one in a series is the easiest one to play in and in games two and three and on and on the games get harder,” he said.

The teams had Friday and Saturday off after Thursday night’s win as the Winterhawks stadium was being used for basketball on the weekend. Friday night the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers took on the LA Lakers before a major high school tournament took place on Sunday in the 20,000 seat Rose Garden.

The ice is back in today and the Rockets and Hawks have had a couple days to think about game one and get ready to get back at it.

Rockets captain Tyson Barrie said the break wasn’t going to be a factor for his team.

“Honestly I don’t think it’s going to be a factor,” said Barrie. “It’s nice to regroup and get the body feeling better. Anytime you have days off in the playoffs it’s nice.”

Following tonight’s game the Rockets and Winterhawks will play games three and four at Prospera Place on Tuesday and Wednesday. There are still tickets available through Select Your Tickets.

kparnell@kelownarockets.com

Just Posted

Your Saturday story catch-up

Every Saturday, read our popular stories from the week

Friends of Gable Beach concerned with District of Lake Country’s proposal

Carr’s Landing residents oppose the district’s latest solution to Gable Beach

Greyhound stop in Oyama gets cut

Expanded regional transit replacement option for Lake Country

Heavy snowfall for Coquihalla

Kelowna - Snowfall is expected to continue on the highway until Sunday

Lake Country budget approved

Lake Country’s 2018 Operating and Capital Budget was approved Tuesday night

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

A most delicious competition at the Mall at Piccadilly

Salmon Arm hosts the Best of the Shuswap Pie Baking Contest

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Most Read