|Shoot the Breeze Photography|
The Kelowna Rockets will have to go through another U.S Division team in their quest for the organizations first WHL championship since 2009.
The Rockets open the Western Conference final Friday night at Prospera Place against the Portland Winterhawks.
The regular season champions used five games to dispose of the Tri City Americans in round one before sweeping the Seattle Thunderbirds in four straight games in the second round.
The Rockets and Winterhawks were the only two teams in the WHL that scored over 300 goals during the regular season.
Rockets' Head Coach Ryan Huska says the way they score goals is very different.
"We have to have three or four whacks at things going in where as they might be a team that will make two or three passes and try to end up with an empty net type goal. So, similar in regards to the offenses but a little different in how we get it accomplished".
The Winterhawks are attempting to go to the league final for a fourth straight season and will have to go through three of the four BC Division teams to accomplish the feat.
Rockets forward Carter Rigby says despite the Winterhawks impressive resume they are confident they can compete against the defending WHL champions.
"You are going to have to play defense to win games too but we need to pressure them and get on them and hopefully get them to cough up pucks. They have good d-men but at the same time anyone who is going to get forced and hit is going to cough up pucks here and there and we just have to bury".
Despite earning the Scotty Munro trophy as the top team during the regular season, players like 19 year-old Tyrell Goulbourne is hungry for a long playoff run.
"With this group, I know we all want to go far. Everyone has a passion for this game and everybody is excited to move forward. We are confident and want to play. We want to play all the way through May."