Rockets to face Portland in WHL playoffs

Kelowna to wrap up regular season Saturday at home to Giants, following a 5-4 overtime loss Friday night in Vancouver

  • Sat Mar 17th, 2012 12:00pm
  • Sports

Adam Brown (top) and the Kelowna Rockets will take on Taylor Leier and the Portland Winterhawks in the opening round of the WHL playoffs beginning Friday.

The Kelowna Rockets will play the Portland Winterhawks in the first round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

The series begins Friday and Saturday with the first two games in Portland. Games 3 and 4 are in Kelowna Tuesday, March 27 and Thursday, March 29.

The series is a rematch of last year’s entertaining clash between the two teams in the second round of the WHL playoffs which Portland won four games to two.

The ‘Hawks will finish third in the Western Conference, while the Rockets will wind up in sixth.

Here are the times and dates:

Friday, March 23            Kelowna @ Portland        7:00

Saturday, March 24          Kelowna @ Portland        7:00

Tuesday, March 27           Portland @ Kelowna        7:05

Thursday, March 29          Portland @ Kelowna        7:05

Saturday, March 31          Kelowna @ Portland        7:00*

Monday, April 2             Portland @ Kelowna         7:05*

Wednesday, April 4          Kelowna @ Portland        7:00*

Meanwhile, the Jordan Martinook scored three times for the Giants on Friday, including the overtime winner, as Vancouver posted a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Rockets. Kelowna had a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.

Brett Bulmer and Damon Severson each had a goal and two assists for the Rockets. Tyson Baillie and Zach Franko added a goal and an assist apiece for Kelowna. Adam Brown was solid in net in a losing cause, facing 30 shots.

The game saw the debut of 2011 draft pick Riley Stadel. The 1996-born defenceman wore jersey number 3 in his Rockets’ debut after playing midget this season with the Okanagan Hockey Academy. The Surrey native was the Rockets third round pick in the 2011 WHL bantam draft.