Goaltender Adam Brown will be counted on to give the Rockets a strong effort in the Rockets first-round playoff series against the Winterhawks.

Veteran duo key to Rockets’ WHL playoff success

Kelowna GM says Brett Bulmer and Adam Brown must be in top form if Rockets are to upset Portland in the first round of the post-season

As the decided underdogs, Bruce Hamilton knows some extraordinary performances will have to come into play if his Kelowna Rockets are to knock off the Portland Winterhawks in the opening round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

And who is the Rockets’ GM counting on to provide that post-season magic ?

“Our success in the playoffs will sit on the shoulders of two players in particular, Brett Bumler and Adam Brown,” said Hamilton, whose club visits Portland Friday in Game 1 of their opening round series.

“This time of year a hot goalie, and somebody up front doing some special things can change a series. That’s what we’re looking for from Adam and Brett.”

Bulmer led the Rockets in goals this season scoring 34 times in 53 games. When playing at his best, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Minnesota Wild draft pick proves hard to contain and often showed a penchant for dominating games.

Now Bulmer is looking to raise his level of play one more notch in the playoffs.


“Playoffs is a whole new season, a whole new mindset, everyone’s gotta show up,” said Bulmer, who had 62 points this season. “For me, I’m always trying to build my game, I know I can be better. Playoffs is where the special players step up, so that’s what I’m looking to do.”

In Brown’s case, the California-born goaltender didn’t put up the numbers in 2011-12 he’s become accustomed to, but was still a steadying presence for a young and relatively inexperienced Rockets defensive corps.

“Adam is capable of winning games on his own, he did that a few times this season,” Hamilton said of the 20-year-old Brown.

Still, Hamilton assures it won’t simply be two players alone that will make the difference against Portland, the WHL’s highest-scoring club.

The Kelowna GM insists the Rockets will also have to play a physical, yet disciplined style to contend with their highly-skilled opponents.

Kelowna was unable to beat the Winterhawks during the regular season, but all four games were reasonably close: Portland won 6-5 and 3-1 in Kelowna, and was victorious 4-2 and 2-1.

Still, regardless of Kelowna’s roller coaster of a regular season (31-31-4-6) and their underdog billing, centre Shane McColgan said the Rockets can begin the playoffs with a clean slate.

“It’s a brand new season,” said McColgan who led the Rockets in scoring this season with 64 points. “In this league anything can happen in the playoffs, you see teams get upset just about every year. It doesn’t really matter what happened before.

“With the injuries and all the adversity we’ve faced this year, it’s been hard for us,” McColgan added. “But we can put it all behind us, just go out and play hard and see if we can take these guys out.”

Added Hamilton: “Nothing’s impossible. That’s the way we have to look at it. We’re washing the season away and getting started with a new one.”

Games 1 and 2 are set for Friday and Saturday in Portland. Games 3 and 4 will go next Tuesday and Thursday at Prospera Place in Kelowna.




Just Posted

Kelowna asking court to shut down pot shops

City seeking injunction to stop five marijuana dispensaries from operating

Traci Genereaux remembered at Vernon vigil

Family and friends remember Genereaux as a “fiery red-head with the best sense of humour”

UPDATED: Body found in burnt Kelowna home

“Firefighters later updated police that a body had been discovered inside the home. “

Angler fined for over-fishing on Gardom Lake

It was an expensive fishing trip for an Okanagan man this weekend.… Continue reading

NDP’s Shelley Cook to try again in Kelowna West

After losing to Christy Clark in May, Cook will vie for the seat again when a byelection is called

Tattooing couple opens new shop in Lake Country

Cody and Fabiana Philpott opened NSI Tattoo in August

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Fintry Queen still looking for a home

Fintry Queen owner wants the tourist vessel in the Penticton Parks and Rec master plan discussions

Major grant bolsters Penticton doctors research on pain

Local research team is headed by Penticton rheumatologist

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

B.C. boy’s social media bid to get levidrome in the Oxford dictionary goes viral

‘It’s been five weeks and has totally blown up today.’

Whistler venues could see 2026 Olympic action

Calgary is looking to cut down on costs

Most Read