WHL Playoffs: Rockets vs. Thunderbirds, Round One


The Kelowna Rockets take a six-game winning streak into round one of the WHL playoffs, where they’ll face off against the Seattle Thunderbirds beginning on March 22.

Series begins Friday, March 22 at 7:05 P.M. MDT in Kelowna.

Kelowna Rockets (52-16-3-1, 108 points — 309 GF, 178 GA)

  • Top Scorer: Myles Bell (LW), 38G, 55A, 93 points
  • Other players to watch include left winger Zach Franko, who had 72 points in 49 regular season games, and right winger Dylen McKinlay, who had 68 points in 72 games.
  • Center Colton Sissons, who scored 28 goals and 39 assists in the regular season, is expected to miss 8-12 weeks with an upper body injury.
  • Damon Severson, a ’12 NJ Devils draft choice, led all Rockets blueliners with 52 points (10-42) in 71 games.
  • Kelowna takes a six-game winning streak into the postseason. The Rockets defeated Victoria, Kamloops (twice), Prince George and Vancouver (twice) before the regular season came to a close on March 16.

Seattle Thunderbirds (24-38-7-3, 58 points — 210 GF, 286 GA)

  • Top Scorer: Roberts Lipsbergs (LW), 30G, 28A, 58 points
  • Right winger Connor Honey had 54 points (16-38) in 57 games and led Seattle in assists.
  • Defenseman Shea Theodore finished third in regular season scoring in Seattle with 50 points in 71 games.
  • Rookie Alexander Denlov had 49 points in 69 games during his first WHL season.
  • Seattle dropped its final two games of the season, both losses to the Portland Winterhawks. Portland defeated Seattle 8-4 on March 15 before taking a 6-5 win the following day.

The Season Series

Seattle won the first meeting between the teams this season, a 4-2 win on December 1. The Rockets, however, won the three remaining match-ups, starting with a commanding 8-0 victory on January 24. Kelowna took the next game, a 4-3 win the following night, before winning the final meeting by a score of 4-1, on February 28.

Game #1: Fri Mar 22 7:05 PM Seattle at Kelowna

Game #2: Sat Mar 23 7:05 PM Seattle at Kelowna

Game #3: Tue Mar 26 7:05 PM Kelowna at Seattle

Game #4: Wed Mar 27 7:05 PM Kelowna at Seattle

Game #5: Sat Mar 30 7:05 PM Seattle at Kelowna * if necessary

Game #6: Tue Apr 2 7:05 PM Kelowna at Seattle * if necessary

Game #7: Wed Apr 3 7:05 PM Seattle at Kelowna * if necessary