- Get out the backhoe. The Kelowna Rockets need to dig themselves out of a huge hole. For the third consecutive game the Kelowna Rockets and Seattle Thunderbirds went into overtime and for the third straight time it ended in a T-Bird victory. Evan Wardley, who scores goals at the pace that Screech Diamond from the 80's TV show Saved by the Bell was able to find dates, saw his seeing eye wrist shot hit the back of the net in a 3-2 overtime win Tuesday night at ShoWare Center. The T-Birds now have a 3-0 lead in the best of seven series with a chance to eliminate the Rockets in game four.
- A terrific start for the Rockets, who built up a 2-0 lead six minutes into the game and fired 16 shots at what appeared to be a shaky Seattle goaltender Brandon Glover. Glover did fight the puck but managed to make an unreal left pad save on Tyson Baillie, which would have given the Rockets a 3-1 intermission lead. Instead it was a one goal differential after 20 minutes.
- Despite a solid first, any momentum built from it was wasted away as the T-Birds amped up their physical play and the visitors manufactured just three shots on goal. Instead of ending the period still up by a goal, Jesse Forsberg, who never played this good when he was with the Prince George Cougars, fired a hard shot beating goaltender Jordon Cooke with 25 seconds left in the period. Now it was 2-2.
- The Rockets power play let them down in this one. They failed to score on a late third period penalty by Seattle's Adam Kambeitz and then blew a tremendous chance to walk away with the teams first playoff win in eight games when the T-Birds were called for two many men in overtime. The power play, which was the 5th best on the league during the regular season went quiet at the most inopportune time.
- Rookie Rourke Chartier didn't play in the third period after receiving a hard hit from Wardley in the second frame. The 16 year-old Rockets rookie was skating inside the T-Birds zone, took a shot and as Wardley made contact, Chartier fell to the ice and crashed awkwardly into the side boards.
- The crowd at ShoWare Center was outstanding. In the first home playoff date in over four years over 6 thousand packed the arena in a picture perfect playoff atmosphere. The noise was deafening when the T-Birds scored. Well done.
- The Rockets will try to do what only one WHL team has been able to accomplish. Spokane trailed their 1996 series with Portland 3 games to 0 before coming back to win four straight.
- The T-Birds first overall pick from the 2012 WHL bantam draft, Mathew Barzal attended Tuesday's game.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
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