|Shoot the Breeze Photography|
Series Preview: The Kelowna Rockets host the Seattle Thunderbirds in game one of this best of seven Western Conference semi final series. Game two is Saturday night before games three and four are back in Kent/Seattle next Tuesday and Wednesday night. Game five is next Friday in Kelowna. These two teams met in an epic seven game opening round playoff series in 2013 where the T-Birds won the first three games before the Rockets rallied back to win four straight to advance to round two. Five of the seven games were decided in overtime. This season the two teams met four times with both sporting records of 2-1-0-1. The Rockets out-scored the T-Birds 15-14 in the four games. Two of the regular season games were decided in the shootout. These two teams are meeting for the 6th time in the playoffs. The two teams have met in 2013, 2008, 2005, 2003 and 2001. The Rockets advanced to the second round for the third straight year with a five game series win over the Tri City Americans.
Seasonal Series Scoring:
Period: 1 2 3 SO Total
Rockets: 5 6 3 1 15
T-Birds: 1 4 8 1 14
- The Rockets were 5 for 22 on the power play in the four game seasonal series (22.7%). The T-Birds were 5 for 21 (23.8%) with the extra man. The Rockets out-shot Seattle in three of the four games.
This and That: Marek Tvrdon has four goals in his last six regular season games against the Seattle Thunderbirds…Tvrdon had 1+2=3 in Seattle as a member of the Giants in the 2011-2012 season…If this series goes a full seven games, it will be played over 13 nights…Tyrell Goulbourne scored 17 times this season. Of those 17 goals, three of them came against the T-Birds…Jordon Cooke played in three of the four games against Seattle in the seasonal series…The Rockets have killed off 16 of its last 17 shorthanded situations in this year’s playoffs.…The Rockets out-shot the Tri City Americans in all five games in an opening round playoff series….The Rockets had a power play goal in all five games in round one…. The Kelowna Rockets are playing their 195th playoff game tonight…This is the 35th playoff series the Rockets have been involved in since relocating from Tacoma for the start of the 1995-96 season…Seattle coach Steve Konowalchuk was a 3rd round pick of the Washington Capitals in 1991. The 41 year-old played 790 games in the NHL with the Capitals and Colorado….Konowalchuk and Rockets assistant coach Dan Lambert have something in common. Both were former teammates of Joe Sakic. Lambert played with Sakic in junior and with the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques while Konowalchuk played two seasons with Sakic in Colorado in 2003-2004 and again in 2005-2006…
Who’s Hot: Marek Tvrdon is riding a five game playoff point streak. If you include the regular season, the 20 year-old is on an 8 game points streak (4+6=10)…Tvrdon has 12 points (7+5=12) in 11 career WHL playoff games….Rourke Chartier has points in nine of his last ten games dating back to the regular season. The 17 year-old had points in four of five games in round one against Tri City including a two goal game in game one…Tyson Baillie had 8 playoff goals in 2013…Baillie had seven goals in seven games in last year’s opening round series with the T-Birds including a hat trick in game seven…Jordon Cooke is 4 and 1 in this year’s playoffs with a goals against average of 2.01 and a save percentage of .935.