WHL Playoffs, Round 2: "Do or Die" time for T-Birds, as they drop Game 3 to Kelowna, 5-4


by Su Ring


Posted on April 9, 2014 at 3:10 PM

The Seattle Thunderbirds are face a “must-win” situation to keep their playoff hopes alive, after falling to the Kelowna Rockets 5-4 in an emotion-packed game at ShoWare Center Tuesday night. As a packed crowd of 5029 cheered them on, the T-Birds evenly matched the Rockets for most of the first period, before getting into penalty trouble with less than two minutes to go in that opening period. With Scott Eansor in the box for cross checking, Kelowna capitalized on the power play, scoring twice within thirty seconds to end the first up 2-0. Ethan Bear scored four minutes into the second period to cut Kelowna’s lead in half, but the Rockets scored twice more to end the second period with a 4-1 lead.

The T-Birds came alive in the third, and Adam Henry brought the crowd to its feet when he scored 1:44 into the period.  Justin Kirkland put the Rockets up 5-2 on a power play less than five minutes later, as Scott Eansor sat in the box for high sticking. Justin Hickman scored Seattle’s first power play goal in nine tries to bring the T-Birds to within two goals and more than twelve minutes left in regulation. The T-Birds seemed to gain new energy from that goal and peppered Kelowna goaltender Jordan Cook with shot after shot, some missing by a frustratingly close margin as the crowd cheered them on. Alexander Delnov scored in the final 90 seconds to cut Kelowna’s lead to one and seemed on the verge of tying things up, but another shot missed wide and the Rockets were able to knock the puck out of reach.

The two teams face each other at ShoWare Center tonight for Game 4 (please click here for tickets). If Kelowna wins, the Rockets will move on to the face the winner of the Portland Winterhawks/Victoria Royals series for the WHL’s Western Conference Championship (Portland leads this series 3 games to 1). If Seattle wins, the teams will head back to Kelowna for Game 5 on Friday, April 11 (see full schedule below).

Connect with the Seattle Thunderbirds on Facebook and Twitter: @SeattleTBirds

Connect with the Kelowna Rockets on Facebook and Twitter: @Kelowna_Rockets  

(Note: some hockey fans may remember the Rockets when they played in Tacoma from 1991-1995 before moving to Kelowna)

Three Stars of the Game

Madison Bowey/Kelowna

Damon Severson/Kelowna

Adam Henry/Seattle

Game 3 Scoring Recap

First Period:

18:39 – Ryan Olsen/Kelowna-PP (Assists: Damon Severson, Nick Merkley)

19:03 – Tyrell Goulbourne/Kelowna (Assists: Colten Martin, Damon Severson)

Second Period:

4:12 – Ethan Bear/Seattle (Unassisted)

7:23 – Tyson Baillie/Kelowna (Assists: Marek Tvrdon, Jesse Lees)

9:54 – Madison Bowey/Kelowna (Assists: Marek Tvrdon, Mitchell Wheaton)

Third Period:

1:44 – Adam Henry/Seattle (Assists: Matthew Barzal, Shea Theodore)

6:07 – Justin Kirkland/Kelowna-PP (Assist: Madison Bowey)

7:21 – Justin Hickman/Seattle-PP (Assists: Russell Maxwell, Roberts Lipsbergs)

18:43 – Alexander Delnov/Seattle (Assist: Matthew Barzal)


First Period:

7:26 – Colton Heffley/Kelowna: Slashing (2 minutes)

8:07 – Colten Martin/Kelowna: Slashing (2 minutes)

18:07 – Scott Eansor/Seattle: Cross Checking (2 minutes)

Second Period:

5:14 – Evan Wardley/Seattle: Interference (2 minutes)

8:22 – Ryan Olsen/Kelowna: Tripping (2 minutes)

9:40 – Branden Troock/Seattle: Tripping (2 minutes)

11:43 – Justin Kirkland/Kelowna: High Sticking (2 minutes)

13:38 – Damon Severson/Kelowna: Tripping (2 minutes)

19:42 – Marek Tvrdon/Kelowna: High Sticking (2 minutes)

19:56 – Alexander Delnov/Seattle: High Sticking (2 minutes)

Third Period:

1:22 – Madison Bowey/Kelowna: Boarding (2 minutes)

5:48 – Scott Eansor/Seattle: High Sticking (2 minutes)

6:15 – Marek Tvrdon: Interference (2 minutes)

6:15 – Marek Tvrdon: Unsportsmanlike Conduct (2 minutes)

16:23 – Justin Kirkland: Slashing (2 minutes)

16:23 – Alexander Delnov/Seattle: Roughing (2 minutes)


Game 1 – Thursday, April 3: Kelowna 6 – Seattle 2

Game 2 – Saturday, April 5: Kelowna 6 - Seattle 3

Game 3 – Tuesday, April 8: Kelowna 5 – Seattle 4

Game 4 – Wednesday, April 9: Kelowna at Seattle – 7:05pm

If necessary:

Game 5 – Friday, April 11: Seattle at Kelowna – 7:05pm

Game 6 – Sunday, April 13: Kelowna at Seattle – 5:05pm

Game 7 – Tuesday, April 15: Seattle at Kelowna – 7:05pm