WHL Western Conference – Seattle down Kelowna in game 1

in playoffs


April 21, 2017

by Kevin Bain

The Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Kelowna Rockets 5-4 on Friday night in game one of the Western Conference Championship of the 2017 WHL Playoffs.

Seattle opened the scoring in game one. Ryan Gropp (2) tipped a point shot that slipped behind Michael Herringer. After a video review it was ruled a goal. Seattle took a 1-0 lead exactly halfway through the opening frame. The Rockets responded with seven seconds remaining in the period as Kole Lind (4) redirected a Reid Gardiner pass on the power play to knot things up heading into the first intermission.

The Rockets pulled ahead 1:09 into the middle stanza as Reid Gardiner whacked home his 13th of the post season to give the Rockets a 2-1 advantage. It took until the 19:58 mark of the period but Alexander True (5) made it a 2-2 game.

52 seconds into the final period Turner Ottenbreit (1) made it 3-2 Seattle. Sami Moilanen(3) made it 4-2 at 3:52. The Rockets then responded at 5:53 on the power play as Tomas Soustal(3) slid one past Thunderbirds netminder Carl Stankowski to make it a one goal game once again.

Then at 15:00 of the final frame Calvin Thurkauf (6) tipped a Reid Gardiner point shot once again on the power play and the game was tied at 4-4. With exactly two minutes remaining Dillon Dube was given a delay of game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass. Ethan Bear (4) capitalized on the man advantage on a point blast with just 12 seconds remaining to edge the Rockets 5-4.

Gardiner led the Rockets with a goal and two assists.

Michael Herringer stopped 20 of 25 shots faced. The Rockets outshot the T-Birds 33-25.

Kelowna was 3-for-6 on the power play, while Seattle was 1-for-2.

Seattle takes a 1-0 series lead in the Western Conference Championship.

Game two is tomorrow evening, Saturday, April 22nd, again in the ShoWare Center in Kent, this time with puck drop going at 7:05pm.

The series shifts back to Kelowna for games three and four starting on Tuesday, April 25th, at 7:05pm at Prospera Place.


Full series schedule:

Game Visitor Home Date Time
1 Kelowna @ Seattle Friday, April 21 7:35
2 Kelowna @ Seattle Saturday, April 22 7:05
3 Seattle @ Kelowna Tuesday, April 25 7:05
4 Seattle @ Kelowna Wednesday, April 26 7:05
5 * Kelowna @ Seattle Friday, April 28 7:35
6 * Seattle @ Kelowna Sunday, April 30 5:05
7 * Kelowna @ Seattle Tuesday, May 2 7:05

* If necessary

Tickets for games three and four are on sale now at the Select Your Tickets box office.

Tickets are available for Rockets home games through selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.