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Rockets topple ‘Tips in double OT drama

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 | 10:48 pm

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The Rockets Brett Bulmer steams in on Thomas Heemskerk of the Everett Silvertips during action from the first period of their first-round playoff game at Prospera Place Wednesday night. (Photo Chris Stanford)

By Chris Stanford

With one shot the Kelowna Rockets Geordie Wudrick made four hockey games mean nothing – numbers-wise at least.

It couldn’t have been any more dramatic as Wudrick scored for the Kelowna Rockets on a powerplay in double overtime to give them a 5-4 win over the Everett Silvertips in game four of their WHL playoff series Wednesday, and in the process effectively¬†make it now a best-of-three series.

After losing the first two on the road in Everett, the Rockets have now bounced back with two wins at Prospera Place to make it an entirely new game heading into their fifth of a possible seven meetings.

Wudrick got his second of the game, and team-best sixth of the post season, to send the crowd crazy as he fired a quick wrist shot up high past Heemskerk with only 46 seconds elapsed in the double extra period. It’s also the sniper’s second two-goal game in as many nights, after he notched a pair in Tuesday’s 5-3 Rockets home win.

“Tyson Barrie fed a pass over to me and I just had me head down,” said Wudrick of the game-winner. “To be honest my legs were seizing up, I was getting pretty tired and I just kind of put one on net I was lucky to go up top corner.”

Wudrick has been on fire in the post season and is currently tied for the post season league goal-scoring lead with six, along with Jason Bast of the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Wudrick looked to be taking it all in stride as he answered questions from the media after the emotional win. “If we can keep that going . . . and just really work hard, that’s the main thing,” he said of the key to post-season success.

Antoine Corbin, Spencer Main, Brett Bulmer and Wudrick all scored in regulation for the Rockets in a game that saw plenty of shifts in momentum, much the same as Tuesday’s game-three affair.

The Silvertips again jumped to an early lead at 1:58 of the first as the dangerous Shane Harper scored his fourth of the playoffs on Rockets starter Mark Guggenberger, who looked a little shaky early in his first post-season start in 2010. They followed that with their second courtesy of Markus McCrea some four minutes later to go ahead 2-0, but the Rockets were just getting going in a high-scroing first period.

That’s when Main, Wudrick on the powerplay, and Bulmer answered back, sending the homeside to the dressing room with an ice 3-2 lead.

Unfortunately, instead of keeping up the pressure as they did in their 5-3 win the previous night, they instead fell back on their heels in the middle frame and Everett jumped all over that, with Clayton Cumiskey and Ryan Murray lighting the lamp for the only times in the period, and spelling them to a 4-3 lead heading into the second break.

The Rockets looked to have tied it close to three minutes into the third when a point shot was redirected by Bulmer past Meemskerk, it was rightly ruled to be above shoulder height. That didn’t matter much as Corbin knotted it up less than a half-minute later to set the stage for the end game in overtime.

The Rockets had the better of the chances in the first extra frame, with Heemskerk robbing, in order, Shane McColgan, Mitchell Callahan and Brandon McMillan, but they couldn’t solve the netminder and at the other end Guggenberger looked steady and collected, especially in the later stages.

In the end however, the Rockets and Wudrick took advantage of a penalty to Everett’s Chris Langkow, the game’s second star with two assists, who tripped up Dallas Jackson with 41 seconds left in overtime, and came back out for the double period firing.

Wudrick got the job done and that gives the Rockets an entirely new lease on life in the playoff battle.

“You have to take advantage of your home games for sure,” said Rockets head coach Ryan Huska of his team’s performance. “But now we have to find a way to win one game there. Hopefully that’s something that we can build off of tonight’s game . . . carry a little momentum over and try to put together a full game.

“I didn’t like our second period tonight, but if we can put together a full game you never know what can happen.”

Although he didn’t earn any stars from the media, one player who stood out for the Rockets was veteran blueliner Dallas Jackson, 20, who may have just saved the game when he shut down Shane Harper on what would have been a clear breakaway with 14 minutes gone in overtime. His solid play didn’t escape Huska’s notice either.

“Probably Dallas’ best game of the playoffs so far, by far” said the coach. “Maybe his best game that he’s played for us here . . . He was very good for us tonight and we’re going to need that in Everett on Friday.”

One interesting question is who Huska will start in goal for that contest. With 21-year-old Guggenberger and the younger Adam Brown, 18, to chose from, it remains to be seen, but he was leaning one way for sure. “We haven’t decided anything yet, but more than likely we’ll go with the guy that won the game.”

Brett Bulmer picked up the first-star honours for his goal and an assist, while going plus-two on the night and Spencer Main earned the third star with similar numbers. Including Wudrick’s game winner, the Rockets made good on two of three powerplays, while the Silvertips cashed in only once on their three tries, with a total of only 12 minutes ¬†in penalties being handed out all night.

The Rockets were outshot 43-35 in the win.

The Rockets will rest up Thursday before they travel south to take on the ‘Tips in game five this Friday at 7:35 p.m. with game six slated for Prospera Place the following night at 7 p.m. If needed, game seven will be back in Everett on Monday with a 7:05 p.m puck drop.


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One Response to “Rockets topple ‘Tips in double OT drama”

  1. robski says:
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    Great photos, as usual!

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link

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