Americans Sweep Rockets Moving On To Round 2

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Photo credit: Doug Love/Tri-City Americans

The Kelowna Rockets fell 5-3 in game four of the first round of the 2018 WHL Playoffs to the Tri-City Americans. The Americans now advance to the second round after eliminating the Rockets 4-0 in the best-of-seven series.

For the third time in the series, Tri-City opened the scoring. 7:04 into the opening frame Jordan Topping(1), older brother of Rockets forward Kyle Topping, notched his first of the playoffs. The Americans took a 1-0 lead into the second period.

4:38 into the middle frame Dillon Dube(1) struck for his first time in the series to even things at 1-1. Morgan Geekie(7) continued his big offensive opening round notching his seventh in the later stages of the middle frame to make it 2-1 Tri-City heading into the third.

Just under five minutes into the final frame Maxwell James was assessed a double minor for slew-footing. On the ensuing power play Kyle Topping(2) replied to his brothers goal with a power play marker of his own to even things up at 2-2. With 9:57 to go Nolan Yaremko(4) found the back of the net on a scramble play to give the Americans the lead once again, but 41 seconds later, Dube(2) ripped his second of the night to once again bring the game back to even. With 54 seconds to play in regulation time Geekie(8) scored his second of the night on another scramble play to pull the Americans ahead 4-3. Geekie(9) completed the hat-trick 17 seconds later to make it 5-3 Americans. That would be it as the Rockets fall 5-3 and are eliminated from the 2018 WHL Playoffs.

James Porter stopped 36 of 41 shots he faced as the Rockets were outshot 41-28.

Tri-City wins the best-of-seven series 4-0. The Rockets complete the 2017-2018 WHL season with a record of 43-22-5-2 winning the B.C. Division title, but fall to the Tri-City Americans in round one of the 2018 WHL Playoffs.

The Rockets graduate overage defenceman and Assistant Captain Gordie Ballhorn, overage defenceman and Assistant Captain James Hilsendager, and overage Philadelphia Flyers prospect Carsen Twarynski. They will also likely graduate Tampa Bay Lightning prospect and team Captain Cal Foote, Calgary Flames prospect and Assistant Captain Dillon Dube, and Vancouver Canucks prospect Kole Lind.

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