Tyson Baillie scored early in overtime, as the Kelowna Rockets defeated the Victoria Royals 4-3 on Saturday night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven WHL Western Conference semifinal series.
Baillie’s second of the game came on a power play just 58 seconds into the extra period as he converted a cross-ice pass from Leon Draisaitl.
“It’s one of the biggest goals I’ve scored as a Rocket,” Baillie said. “It was a great play by Madison Bowey and Leon Draisaitl.”
Draisaitl led the Rockets’ attack with three assists, as Kelowna jumped out to a 3-0 lead only to see Victoria storm back to tie the game 3-3 and send it to overtime.
Jackson Whistle stopped 38 shots as the Royals outshot Kelowna 41-27, and unlike Friday’s lopsided series opener, Victoria gave the Rockets all they could handle.
“I thought they were the better team,” Rockets head coach Dan Lambert said of Victoria. “We were fortunate that Jackson Whistle played as well as he did and you know, we got lucky in the end.”
Tomas Soustal and Gage Quinney also scored for Kelowna which led 1-0 after the first and 3-1 after the second period.
Brandon Magee tallied twice for the Royals, including scoring the game-tying goal with just 1:34 remaining in the third period.
Meanwhile, Rockets defenceman Josh Morrissey left the game in the first period and didn’t return. The 20-year-old Morrissey returned to the lineup for Game 1 on Friday after missing nearly six weeks with a leg injury.
The series now shifts to Victoria for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Game 5 if necessary will be held Friday, April 17 at Prospera Place.