Rockets Go Up 2-0 On Winterhawks

KELOWNA, CANADA - APRIL 8: Henri Jokiharju #16 of the Portland Winterhawks stick checks Nick Merkley #10 of the Kelowna Rockets during first period on April 8, 2017 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze) *** Local Caption ***

The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Portland Winterhawks 5-2 on Saturday night at Prospera Place in game two of the second round of the 2017 WHL Playoffs.

Much like game one, both teams were scoreless after 20 minutes of play. Kelowna led 9-6 in shots after one period.

Kole Lind opened the scoring at 7:33 of the middle frame for his third of the playoffs. Then just over two minutes later Tomas Soustal tipped in a Lucas Johansen point shot and the Rockets took a 2-0 lead. The Winterhawks responded before the period was out as Blichfeld notched his third of the post season and the Winterhawks cut the lead to 2-1 heading into the final frame.

James Hilsendager took a wrist shot from the point that found its way through everyone for his first playoff goal this season. At 18:40 Nick Merkley scored his first of the post season on the empty net to make the score 4-1. The Winterhawks came right back and made it 4-2, but Merkley slipped a second one into the Hawks empty net as the Rockets take this one 5-2.

Nick Merkley led the Rockets with two goals and an assist.

The Rockets outshot the Winterhawks 43-25 as Michael Herringer made 23 saves for the win.

Kelowna takes a 2-0 series lead.

The series shifts to Portland for games three and four on Tuesday, April 11th and Wednesday, April 12th. Both of those games have a 7:00pm puck drop.

The whole series schedule goes as follows:

Visitor Home Date Time
1 Portland @ Kelowna Friday, April 7 7:05
2 Portland @ Kelowna Saturday, April 8 7:05
3 Kelowna @ Portland Tuesday, April 11 7:00
4 Kelowna @ Portland Wednesday, April 12 7:00
5 * Portland @ Kelowna Friday, April 14 7:05
6 * Kelowna @ Portland Sunday, April 16 5:00
7 * Portland @ Kelowna Tuesday, April 18 7:05

* If necessary