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Rockets, Americans meet in second round of playoffs

Thursday, April 1st, 2010 | 5:32 pm

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Spencer Main and the Kelowna Rockets will face the Tri-City Americans in the second round of the 2010 WHL playoffs. (File photo Chris Stanford)

By Pieter Uni

Fresh off their stunning game seven win over the Everett Silvertips, the Kelowna Rockets are hoping they can pull off another upset when they begin their second round WHL playoff series against Tri-City tomorrow night.

Ranked No. 6 entering the playoffs, the Rockets will face the No. 1 Americans, a team that finished 21 points ahead of Kelowna in the WHL’s Western Conference.

The two teams met four times over the course of the 2009-10 season, with the Americans winning every contest, outscoring the Rockets 20-5 in the process. The second round series also marks the second consecutive year the two teams meet in the postseason, after Kelowna knocked off the Americans four games to three in the second rondo of the 2009 playoffs.

The Rockets enter the series after knocking off Everett in seven games. In beating the Silvertips, who also finished 21 points clear of Kelowna in the regular season standings, Kelowna have now won five consecutive playoff series dating back to last year.

Defenceman Tyson Barrie led the way offensively for Rockets, notching nine points, while Geordie Wudrick chipped in with eight points. Kelowan also boasts the second-best power play in the playoffs, having converted on 7 of 19 chances.

In net, Mark Guggenberger took the reigns from Adam Brown in net and won four of five games he appeared in. Guggenberger was solid for Kelowna, posting a 0.910 save percentage through five games while saving his best for last, when he made 40 saves in game seven.

The Americans enter the series after eliminating the Chilliwack Bruins in six games. Averaging four goals per game, Tri-City have great depth offensively. Ten different players scored against the Bruins, while five different players have recorded at least five points through six games. Brooks Macek and Kruise Reddick lead the Americans with eight points each, while Brendan Shinnimin leads the team in goals with five.

Defensively, the Americans enter the series averaging just over 2.5 goals against as the team allowed on 16 goals against the Bruins. The team can thank goaltender Drew Owsley for the low numbers, as he posted 0.922 save percentage against Chilliwack.

Series Schedule

  • Game One – Kelowna at Tri-City; Friday, April 2 – 7:05 p.m.
  • Game Two – Kelowna at Tri-City; Saturday, April 3 (7:05pm)
  • Game Three – Tri-City at Kelowna; Tuesday, April 6 – 7 p.m.
  • Game Four – Tri-City at Kelowna; Wednesday, April 7 – 7 p.m.
  • Game Five – Kelowna at Tri-City; Friday, April 9 – 7:05 p.m.**
  • Game Six – Tri-City at Kelowna; Sunday, April 11 – 5 p.m.**
  • Game Seven – Kelowna at Tri-City; Tuesday, April 13 – 7:05 p.m.**

**If Necessary

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