Junior hockey: Rockets crush T-Birds, Vipers advance to second round of playoffs

Click to play video: 'Kelowna Rockets blank Seattle Thunderbirds 6-0' Kelowna Rockets blank Seattle Thunderbirds 6-0
The Kelowna Rockets shut out the Seattle Thunderbirds 6-0 on Friday night, while also clinching a playoff berth – Mar 7, 2020

A round-up of junior hockey results from the Okanagan and area.


Kelowna 6, Seattle 0

At Kelowna, Pavel Novak had a three-point outing, with two goals and an assist, as the Rockets clinched a playoff berth.

Matthew Wedman, Ethan Ernst, Devin Steffler and Alex Swetlikoff also scored for Kelowna (28-27-3-3), which led 2-0 and 5-0 at the period breaks.

Roman Basran had an easy night between the pipes, facing just 19 shots for the shutout. It was his second whitewash of the season.

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Roddy Ross started in goal for Seattle (23-31-4-3), but lasted just 34 minutes. He stopped 9 of 14 shots, with Blake Lyda going 7-for-8 in relief.

The Rockets were 1-for-4 on the power play while the Thunderbirds were 0-for-4.

In B.C. Division standings, Kelowna is fourth in B.C. Division standings with 62 points. The Rockets, who have seven regular-season games remaining, are seven points behind third-place Victoria (31-23-5-2) and second-place Vancouver (32-24-3-2), both of whom have 69 points.

Theoretically, Kelowna could overtake Victoria or Vancouver, but the odds of that happening are slim. The Rockets would have to win nearly all of their remaining games while hoping the Royals or Giants stumble and fall down the stretch.

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Notably, though, Vancouver is riding a three-game losing streak while the Royals are just 3-5-1-1 in their past 10 games. The Rockets are 5-2-2-1 in their past 10.

Should Kelowna fail to overtake Victoria or Vancouver, the Rockets will finish seventh in Western Conference standings, meaning a first-round playoff series with B.C. Division-leading Kamloops (39-17-3-1, 82 points).

The Rockets are 1-6-1-0 this season against the Blazers, and the two rivals will play twice next weekend.

Seattle should clinch the final playoff spot in the Western Conference soon, as the eighth-place T-Birds have 53 points, seven more than ninth-place Prince George (19-34-4). Seattle will face either Portland or Everett in the first round.

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In WHL action for Saturday, Kelowna will host Lethbridge (37-18-2-5, 81 points), 7 p.m. at Prospera Place. On Friday, the Hurricanes lost 6-3 to Kamloops.


The BCHL playoffs are well underway, and three area teams have advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

In first-round action earlier this week, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks beat Victoria 3-2 on Tuesday night to sweep that best-of-seven set 4-0.

One night later, Penticton Vees eliminated the West Kelowna Warriors on Wednesday with a 5-4 overtime win in Game 5.

Vernon 8, Wenatchee 3

At Wenatchee, the Vipers punched their ticket to the second round with a convincing win over the Wild in Game 5 of their first-round series.

Hunter Donohoe and Cameron MacDonald, each with two goals, Logan Cash, Colby Feist, Connor Marritt and Trey Taylor scored for Vernon, which led 3-1 and 4-2 at the period breaks.

Nick Cafarelli, Matt Dorsey and Brett Chorske replied for Wenatchee, which fell 4-1 to Vernon in the best-of-seven affair.

Reilly Herbst stopped 21 of 24 shots for the Vipers. For the Wild, starter Daniel Chenard lasted just 27 minutes, stopping 6 of 10 shots, with Noah Altman stopping 18 of 21 shots in relief.

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Previous results:

  • Saturday, Feb. 29: Vernon 3, Wenatchee 0
  • Sunday, March 1: Wenatchee 2, Vernon 1
  • Tuesday, March 3: Vernon 4, Wenatchee 2
  • Wednesday, March 4: Vernon 6, Wenatchee 4

Penticton vs. West Kelowna

Vees win series 4-1

  • Thursday  Feb. 27: Penticton 7, West Kelowna 1
  • Friday, Feb. 28, Penticton 4, West Kelowna 1
  • Sunday, March 1: Penticton 9, West Kelowna 2
  • Tuesday, March 3: West Kelowna 2, Penticton 1 (OT)
  • Wednesday, March 4: Penticton 5, West Kelowna 4 (OT)

Salmon Arm vs. Victoria

Silverbacks win series 4-0

  • Friday, Feb. 28: Salmon Arm 2, Victoria 1
  • Saturday, Feb. 29: Salmon Arm 4, Victoria 0
  • Monday, March 2: Salmon Arm 3, Victoria 2
  • Tuesday, March 3: Salmon Arm 3, Victoria 2

Schedules for the second round have yet to be released, but Salmon Arm will play Trail, which swept Prince George, while Penticton will play Vernon.

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Like the BCHL, the playoffs are also underway in the KIJHL.

Kelowna vs. North Okanagan

Chiefs win series 4-1

  • North Okanagan 3, Kelowna 2 (OT)
  • Kelowna 3, North Okanagan 1
  • Kelowna 4, North Okanagan 1
  • Kelowna 6, North Okanagan 1
  • Kelowna 3, North Okanagan 2 (OT)

Revelstoke vs. Kamloops

Grizzlies win series 4-0

  • Revelstoke 6, Kamloops 0
  • Revelstoke 5, Kamloops 2
  • Revelstoke 3, Kamloops 1
  • Revelstoke 2, Kamloops 1

100 Mile House vs. Chase

Wranglers win series 4-1

  • 100 Mile House 5, Chase 2
  • 100 Mile House 1, Chase 0
  • Chase 4, 100 Mile House 2
  • 100 Mile House 3, Chase 0
  • 100 Mile House 4, Chase 1

Summerland vs. Princeton

Posse wins series 4-0

  • Princeton 7, Summerland 3
  • Princeton 4, Summerland 2
  • Princeton 3, Summerland 1
  • Princeton 5, Summerland 4

In the second round, Revelstoke will play 100 Mile House, with Kelowna playing Princeton. Both those series start Monday, March 9, in Revelstoke and Kelowna, respectively.

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