Gordie Ballhorn and the Kelowna Rockets were swept by Morgan Geekie and the Tri-City Americans in their first round playoff series.                                -Image: Doug Love/Tri-City Americans

Gordie Ballhorn and the Kelowna Rockets were swept by Morgan Geekie and the Tri-City Americans in their first round playoff series. -Image: Doug Love/Tri-City Americans

Rockets’ season swept away by Americans

Tri-City takes out Kelowna in four games in the opening round of the WHL playoffs

Visions of a long and prosperous Western Hockey League playoff run came to an abrupt end for the Kelowna Rockets Thursday night in Kennewick, Wash.

Morgan Geekie scored a hat trick to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 5-3 win over the B.C. Division champs, sweeping the Rockets from the WHL postseason in four straight games.

It was first opening-round loss for the Rockets since being swept by the Portland Winterhawks in the 2011-2012 season.

Dillon Dube, with two, and Kyle Topping scored for the Rockets who went into the final minute of the game in a 3-3 tie with Tri-City.

But two goals by Geekie, just 17 seconds apart—at 19:05 and 19:22 of the third—sealed the Rockets’ fate and sent the Ams onto the second round of the playoffs.

The Americans, who outscored Kelowna 24-13 in the series, outshot the Rockets 41-28.

James Porter stopped 36 shots in the Rockets net, while Patrick Dea turned aside 25 shots for the Americans.

GAME SUMMARY

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