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Kelowna Rockets taking on B.C.’s best in second round of WHL playoffs

The Prince George Cougars finished first in the Western Conference
The Kelowna Rockets take on the Prince George Cougars in the second round of the WHL playoffs. (@theWHL/X)

The Kelowna Rockets have a tall task at hand in the second round of the WHL playoffs.

After beating the Wenatchee Wild in the first round, the Rockets will take on the top team in the Western Conference, the Prince George Cougars.

The Rockets beat Wenatchee in six games to advance while the Cougars, coming off of a 102-point regular season, swept the Spokane Chiefs in the first round.

“It was an exciting first round, we faced some adversity which I think was good for our group,” said Rockets goaltender Jari Kykkanen. “Especially going in against Prince George, we needed to learn how to battle back and be in those kind of situations where we’re down but not out.”

Prince George dominated the regular season series against the Rockets as they went 6-1-0-1.

“We know the Cougars, we’ve played them a lot this year,” said Michael Cicek. “I think to be successful, we really have to dial in our systems and shut them down through the neutral zone. We’ve got to minimize our turnovers, that’s big because they’re a huge transition team. If we capitalize on our chances and do everything to minimize their chances, I think we’re going to have success.”

The two teams were the two highest-scoring teams in the regular season and each has two NHL prospects: Andrew Cristall (Washington Capitals) and Gabriel Szturc (Tampa Bay Lightning) for the Rockets and Zac Funk (Washington Capitals) and Riley Heidt (Minnesota Wild) for the Cougars.

Game one of the best-of-seven series goes on Friday night (Apr. 12) at CN Centre in Prince George at 7 p.m. The schedule for the series is as follows:

Game #1: Friday, April 12 @ CN Centre (7:00 PM)

Game #2: Saturday, April 13 @ CN Centre (7:00 PM)

Game #3: Tuesday, April 16 @ Prospera Place (7:05 PM PST)

Game #4: Wednesday, April 17 @ Prospera Place (7:05 PM PST)

*Game #5: Friday, April 19 @ CN Centre (7:00 PM)

*Game #6: Sunday, April 21 @ Prospera Place (2:05 PM PST)

*Game #7: Tuesday, April 23 @ CN Centre (7:00 PM)

(Bold indicates Rockets at home, * indicates if necessary)

Single-game tickets for the Kelowna Rockets’ first two home games are on sale at Select Your Tickets or the Prospera Place box office.

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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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