WHL Western Conference – Seattle win title in game 6

in playoffs

April 30,  2017

by Kevin Bain

The Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Kelowna Rockets 3-1 on Sunday evening at Prospera Place in game six of the Western Conference Championship to eliminate the Rockets and advance to the Western Hockey League Championship.

The Rockets opened up the scoring as Nolan Foote (2) scored on the power play at 15:57. Kelowna took a 1-0 lead into the second.

Austin Strand (4) evened the game at 1-1 at 4:56 of the middle stanza. Alexandre True (8) pulled the Thunderbirds ahead by one on a 5-on-3 power play. Mathew Barzal extended the Thunderbirds lead at 15:14. Kelowna trailed 3-1 heading into the final period.

Kelowna applied heavy third period pressure but Thunderbirds goaltender Carl Stankowski shut the door and ended the Rockets hopes of a comeback. 3-1 final score.

Seattle wins the best-of-seven series 4-2 to eliminate Kelowna.

Michael Herringer stopped 19 of 22 shots he faced in his final junior hockey performance. The Rockets were outshot 22-18.

The Rockets were led in post season scoring by sniper Reid Gardiner who finished with an astounding 15 goals and 13 assists in 17 games played.

The loss marks the last game for the Rockets three overage players.

Team Captain and defensive forward of the year (Hollis Peirce Award) winner Rodney Southam, hired gun Reid Gardiner who had a phenomenal stint with the Rockets, and stud starting goaltender Michael Herringer have all officially played their final WHL games.

Southam finishes his WHL career with 247 regular season games played (split between the Tri-City Americans and Kelowna Rockets). He recorded 41 goals and 60 assists for 101 career regular season points. He also added nine goals and seven assists in 57 career playoff games.

Reid Gardiner finishes his WHL career with 290 regular season games played (split between the Prince Albert Raiders and the Kelowna Rockets). He notched 124 goals and 133 assists for 257 career points. He added 20 goals and 17 assists for 37 points in 31 career playoff games.

Michael Herringer finishes his WHL career with 115 career starts in the WHL (two for the Victoria Royals before he was acquired by the Kelowna Rockets). He recorded 71 wins, and posted a career 2.88 goals against average and a .904 save percentage. He also added 21 wins, combined with a 2.48 goals against average and a .919 save percentage in 39 career playoff games.

The Rockets organization wishes these young men nothing but the best in their future endeavours.


Photo by Brian Liesse.


Series Schedule

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

* If necessary