April 25, 2014 - 9:17 AM
By Regan Bartel
Tonight’s Preview: The Kelowna Rockets face the Portland Winterhawks in game five of the Western Conference championship series. The Winterhawks have won three straight games after the Rockets opened the series with a game one 5-4 victory. This is the third time in the last four seasons these two teams have met in the playoffs. Back in 2011 they collided in round two before meeting in round one in the 2012 post season. The Winterhawks won both of those playoff series. These two teams met four times during the regular season with the Rockets going 4-0-0-0. Overall, the Rockets out-scored the Winterhawks 28-10 in the seasonal series including 12-5 on home ice and 16-5 on the road. The Rockets out-shot the Winterhawks in three of the four games. The Rockets are playing in the Western Conference final for the 6th time in franchise history and for the first time since 2009.
Game Four Tidbits: Nick Merkley scored the lone goal in a 5-1 loss. Nic Petan scored three times in the win. Three of the five goals scored by the Winterhawks were on the power play…The Rockets were 0 for 5 with the extra man. Jordon Cooke made 31 saves, 30 fewer than in game three.
Game Three Tidbits: The Kelowna Rockets surrendered 65 shots against in a 4-3 overtime loss. The team has now given up 118 shots on goal in the last two games. Ryan Olsen scored his first goal of the series while 19 year-old Carter Rigby earned his first point of the Western Conference final. Dillon Dube made his WHL debut and was a +1 in the game. Cole Martin scored his first goal of the season in Tuesday’s setback. Martin now has three career playoff goals in 27 games. The 19 year-old has three goals in 210 regular season games.
Game Two Tidbits: Nick Merkley had a goal and an assist in the 5-3 setback. The Rockets had a 2-0 lead after one period of play before the Winterhawks would erupt with four-second period goals. The Rockets gave up a playoff high 53 shots on net. It marked the first time in the playoffs the Rockets suffered a loss on home ice. The loss snapped the teams 7 game playoff winning streak. The Rockets were 2 for 3 on the power play.
Game One Tidbits: Jesse Lees scored the game winning goal in game one. It was the Calgary residents’ first career playoff goals. It was Lees’ 15 career WHL playoff game. Tyson Baillie had three points in last night’s win. Baillie also had three points (1+2=3) in a game four loss in Tri City in round one. The Rockets used five different goal scorers in a game one win. Jordon Cooke earned his second assist of the playoffs with a helper on Baillie’s first period goal to make the score 3-1. Rourke Chartier scored last night giving him four goals in his last six playoff games. The crowd of 6,218 was the largest of the season at Prospera Place.
This and That: The Rockets have opened the scoring in three of the four games. The Rockets have lost three straight. The teams’ longest losing streak this season was two games. The team that has opened the scoring has lost all four games. The Rockets are 9 and 4 in the playoffs. The Winterhawks are 11 and 2. The Rockets have scored 17 power play goals in the 2014 playoffs. The Winterhawks have 21 with the extra man. The Rockets have won seven of their last 10 playoff games. The Rockets have allowed 17 goals in seven home playoff games. That is an average of 2.42 goals against in the 2014 post season. The Rockets have killed off 56 of its last 67 shorthanded situations in this year’s playoffs. The Rockets have a power play goal in 11 of the 13 playoff games. The Kelowna Rockets franchise played its 200th playoff game last Saturday. This is the 37th playoff series the Rockets have been involved in since relocating from Tacoma for the start of the 1995-96 season. Madison Bowey turned 19 on April 22nd. Rourke Chartier had 5+4=9 in his first 27 regular season games. In his final 45 regular season games the 17 year-old had 19+30=49.
Who’s Hot: Nick Merkley has points in 9 of his last 10 games. Merkley has 4+11=15 over that period. Damon Severson has points in six of his last eight games. The 19 year-old has 4+10=14 over that period. Marek Tvrdon has points in nine of the thirteen games in this year’s playoffs (5+7=12). Rourke Chartier has points in 9 of his last 10 games. Chartier has 5+6=11 over that stretch. Jordon Cooke is 9 and 4 in this year’s playoffs with a goals against average of 2.89 and a save percentage of .922. Over his career, Cooke is 13-6-4 in 24 playoff appearances. The Leduc Alberta product has been pulled only once, in a second round series against the Kamloops Blazers in the 2013 post season.
Playoff Highs Low:
Most Goals Scored: 6 vs. Seattle in games one and two.
Most Goals Allowed: 5 in game four (5-1) vs. Portland and in game two vs. Portland (5-3) in WCF.
Most Power Play Goals: 3. Went 3 for 6 in game one against T-Birds in round two.
Most Shots Taken: 55 @ Tri City (4-3 Loss) Game three vs. Tri City in round one.
Most Shots Allowed: 65 vs. Portland in game three. (4-3 OTL)
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