The Kelowna Rockets can wrap up their second round WHL playoff series with Portland tonight, in front of their home fans.
The Rockets take on the Portland Winterhawks in game five of the second round of the 2017 WHL Playoffs, hoping to close out the best-of-seven series, with a three-games-to-one lead.
The Rockets are coming off of a 7-2 bounce back victory Wednesday night in game four after dropping game three 4-2 in Portland. Head Coach Jason Smith says it was easy to see the difference in games three and four.
“Game four was a good bounce back game. We had more pace and more jump,” said Smith. “We had no pause or hesitation which allowed us to be quicker getting out of our defensive end and gave us more possession time to create more offence.”
Emotions are running high in this series. The two clubs are proving their playoff rivalry has not been lost. Smith says that’s what playoffs are about.
“Playoff hockey is always full of energy and intensity,” Smith said. “It’s what these players have worked for all season.”
The Rockets will be without Cal Foote and Carsen Twarynski on Friday night as they are both serving suspensions. Foote was given a three game suspension following a hit on Winterhawks forward Skyler McKenzie in game three. Foote has served one game (did not play in game four) and has two remaining to serve. Twarynski’s suspension length has yet to be determined following a hit Wednesday on Winterhawks captain Keegan Iverson.
The Winterhawks will be without forward Evan Weinger as he still has to serve one game of his two game suspension that he was given following game three.
Kelowna currently leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 making game five a possible elimination game. That game goes tomorrow night at Prospera Place at 7:05pm.
If necessary the series will shift back to Portland for game six.
The whole series schedule goes as follows:
Game Visitor Home Date Time
1 Portland @ Kelowna Friday, April 7 7:05
2 Portland @ Kelowna Saturday, April 8 7:05
3 Kelowna @ Portland Tuesday, April 11 7:00
4 Kelowna @ Portland Wednesday, April 12 7:00
5 * Portland @ Kelowna Friday, April 14 7:05
6 * Kelowna @ Portland Sunday, April 16 5:00
7 * Portland @ Kelowna Tuesday, April 18 7:05
* If necessary