Rockets head back to Kamloops for game 6 with the Blazers

KELOWNA, CANADA - MARCH 31: Tomas Soustal #15 of the Kelowna Rockets digs for the puck while checked by Ondrej Vala #42 as Connor Ingram #39 of the Kamloops Blazers clears the zone on March 31, 2017 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze) *** Local Caption ***

The Kelowna Rockets head into Kamloops tomorrow night for game six of the first round of the 2017 WHL Playoffs.

Head Coach Jason Smith says his team just needs to reset their focus.

“It’s important that we refocus and take the same approach that we took after game three that the next game is a fresh start,” said Smith. “We have to win four games to win this series and we’ve got another opportunity in game six to go out and compete, make sure our work ethic is where it needs to be and to play with passion.”

The Rockets dropped game five in Kelowna 4-1 on Friday night bringing the series to 3-2 in Kelowna’s favour.

The series so far:

Game one: Kelowna outshot Kamloops 48-15 en route to a 4-0 victory led by power forward Carsen Twarynski who notched two goals in the effort to open up the first round of the 2017 WHL Playoffs.

Game two: Kelowna held a 1-0 lead for much of the game thanks to some goaltending heroics by Michael Herringer until Dillon Dube potted a shorthanded goal, followed by a power play goal. Dube got the Rockets up 3-0 but Kamloops didn’t give up. The Blazers stormed back with two late goals to draw within one but Herringer and the Rockets held on for a 3-2 victory.

Game three: The series shifted to Kamloops and the Blazers made sure the Rockets knew it. A back and forth run and gun style game showed the Blazers taking game three 4-1. Kole Lind produced the only Rockets tally of the night. Both teams peppered the opposing goalies, finishing the game tied with 38 shots each but Connor Ingram with a strong outing combined with Alaskan ace Lane Bauer notching his first two of the series allowed the Blazers to extend the series with their first win.

Game four: Kelowna seemed to enter game four on a mission. The Rockets collected a 1-0 victory but if it wasn’t for the all-star goaltending of Connor Ingram it could’ve been much worse. The Rockets outshot the Blazers 40-14 after two periods of play but only notched one goal thanks to Dillon Dube sniping one past the Blazers backstop.  Fans got to watch some spectacular playoff goaltending at both ends of the ice. Shots ended up 49-24 for Kelowna with Michael Herringer collecting his second shutout of the post season in the 1-0 win.

Game five: Kelowna opened the scoring as Reid Gardiner capitalized on a Blazers defensive error, but the rest of the scoring was all Kamloops. The Rockets allowed four goals including surrendering their only shorthanded goal against all season long. Kelowna outhsot their rival 33-32 but the Blazers escaped as 4-1 winners to force a game six in Kamloops.

Game six is tomorrow night at 7:00pm in Kamloops.

If necessary, game seven will be on Tuesday, April 4th, at 7:05pm at Prospera Place.