Kelowna Rockets win Game 4, avoid playoff sweep – Okanagan


The Kelowna Rockets are facing an uphill challenge in their playoff series against the Prince George Cougars.
But better a challenge than the alternative: being eliminated and having their season end.On Wednesday night, in Game 4, the Rockets staved that off by posting a 2-1 decision in what was a must-win scenario for them.

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The best-of-seven set, which Prince George leads 3-1, returns to the gateway of northern B.C., where the Cougars convincingly won Games 1 and 2 last weekend by scores of 4-0 and 5-0. Story continues below advertisement

The Rockets came close to winning Game 3 on Tuesday night, but luck wasn’t on their side in a 4-3 overtime loss despite outshooting the top-ranked team in the nation and hitting two posts in the final minutes of the contest.

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In Game 4, Max Graham and Gabriel Szturc scored for Kelowna, which led 2-0 after 40 minutes following a scoreless first period.Hudson Thornton, who made it 2-1 at 16:37 of the third, replied for Prince George, which suffered its first playoff loss this spring. The Cougars swept Spokane 4-0 in the first round, outscoring the Chiefs 20-9.Jari Kykkanen stopped 26 of 27 shots for the Rockets and was the game’s first star. At the other end, Ty Young stopped 27 of 29 shots.Both teams were also scoreless on the power play at 0-for-1.

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Game 5 will be on Friday night in Prince George. If the Rockets win, Kelowna will host Game 6 on Sunday. Game 7, if needed, would be Tuesday in Prince George. Story continues below advertisement

The series winner will likely face Portland in the Western Conference championship, as the Winterhawks are up 3-0 in their series against the Everett Silvertips.In the Eastern Conference, the Saskatoon Blades swept Red Deer 4-0 while Moose Jaw is up 3-1 against Swift Current.Prince George (102 points) and Portland (101) were the top two teams in the West while Saskatoon (105) and Moose Jaw (91) were the top teams in the East. 

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