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Junior hockey: Rockets blanked again, Silverbacks eliminate Centennials

Click to play video: 'Cougars lead series two games to none'
Cougars lead series two games to none
Another night – another shutout performance by Prince George and the Kelowna Rockets find themselves down two games to none in their best-of-seven second-round series against the Cougars. Travis Lowe has the highlights – Apr 14, 2024

A roundup of junior hockey results from the Okanagan and area.

WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE

PRINCE GEORGE 5, KELOWNA 0

For the second straight game, the Kelowna Rockets were goalless against the Prince George Cougars, and now trail in their Western Conference semi-final best-of-seven series 2-0.

In Game 2, the Cougars gave Jari Kykkanen and the Rockets all they could handle — firing 44 pucks at the 19-year-old netminder. Kelowna, meanwhile, struggled to generate any quality scoring chances, with just 16 shots on the night.

Just like they did in Game 1, the Cougars ignited their home crowd with an early tally, after Riley Heidt put the puck past Kykkanen’s short side.

Moments later, Heidt intercepted the puck from Tij Iginla and set up a shorthanded 2-on-1 opportunity. Viliam Kmec chipped in a rebound to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead just before the four-minute mark of the contest.

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In the second period, Zac Funk scored to make it 3-0. The Cougars would add two more goals in the third courtesy of Borya Valis and Oren Shtrom to take Game 2 with a score of 5-0.

Kelowna shut down all six of Prince George’s power plays, while the Rockets went zero-for-four with the man advantage.

The two clubs will meet for Game 3 in Kelowna on Tuesday, with puck drop slated for 7:05. p.m.

Saturday’s results

  • Portland 6, Everett 2 (Portland leads series 2-0)
  • Moose Jaw 7, Swift Current 2 (Series tied 1-1)

Sunday’s games

  • Red Deer at Saskatoon (Saskatoon leads series 1-0)
Click to play video: 'Rockets blanked by Cougars in game one'
Rockets blanked by Cougars in game one

B.C. HOCKEY LEAGUE

SALMON ARM 4, MERRITT 1

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The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are moving on to round 2 of the BCHL playoffs, after eliminating the Merritt Centennials on Saturday.

In the first period, Silverbacks forward Nathan Mackie opened up the scoring with his first goal of the post-season. In the second, Cole Cooksey deposited his third tally of the playoffs to give the visiting Silverbacks a 2-0 advantage.

However, the Centennials and their fans found life as Jaxon Murray managed to find the back of the net to cut the deficit in half.

But it wouldn’t be enough, as the Silverbacks added two more in the final frame. Those goals came from Issac Lambert and Cooksey.

With the loss, the season is not only over for the Centennials but so too is their time in the BCHL. After 51 years in the league, the club will be joining the Kootenay International Junior ‘A’ Hockey League for the next season. They will continue to play out of the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena and will still be known as the Centennials.

The Silverbacks will play either West Kelowna or Cranbrook in round 2.

Saturday’s results

  • Okotoks 5, Spruce Grove 4 (Okotoks wins series 3-0)
  • Alberni Valley 3, Coquitlam 1 (Series tied 3-3)

Sunday’s games

  • West Kelowna at Cranbrook (West Kelowna leads series 3-2)

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