Josh Morrissey had 3 assists for the Kelowna Rockets, while Jackson Whistle made 20 saves to blank the visiting Victoria Royals 5-0 Friday night, taking a 1-0 best of seven playoff series lead in round two.
Netminder was Coleman Vollrath valiant in making 39 saves in the defeat as the Rockets outshot the Royals 44-20 on the night.
“We felt that for the few shots that we had, it was evenly matched in terms of quality scoring chances.” said Head Coach Dave Lowry,
“We had opportunities to shoot the puck in prime scoring positions and we were looking for the pass. This time of year the goals that go in if they’re greasy - you give yourself a chance to win and we didn’t put ourselves in that position.”
Whistle earned his 3rd shut out of the playoffs, as Kelowna has not allowed a single goal against in all 3 post season home games. They also averaged 38 shots for in the first 4 games against the Americans.
After a scoreless first, the Rockets Tyson Baillie opened the scoring and Cole Martin added a second with just :22 seconds left in the middle frame.
“Give up a goal in the last minute of the second period, we were within one shot of giving ourselves a chance in the third. We made a mistake and ended up paying for it….” said Lowry on how the game got out of reach.
Gage Quinney made it 3-0 in the third before a pair of power play goals by Rourke Chartier during a 5 on 3, and Tomas Soustal in the final minute rounded out the scoring.
Tyson Baillie was the first star with a goal and an assist including the winner, while Edmonton Oilers 1st round pick Leon Draisaitl chipped in with a pair of helpers, including hitting two posts.
Winnipeg Jets first round pick, Josh Morrissey returned to the line up after being out since Feb. 28.
Jack Walker almost opened the scoring after hitting iron, moments before Baillie converted on a feed from Draisaitl.
Victoria was 0 for 4 with the man advantage, while Kelowna was 2 for 5.
“It got better,” said Lowry of the power play which improved as the night went along,
“Still, at this time of year it’s your top players and we need better execution. We have to get back to doing the basics, and working, and putting pucks off the net.”
Game two goes Saturday night in Kelowna before returning to Victoria for games Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Marlon Martens
Individual playoff tickets, starting at $14.50, are on sale at the Select Your Tickets Box Office located at the arena or over the phone at 250-220-7777. Avoid any lines and choose the seats you want by using the “Pick Your Own” seat map, available 24/7, online at www.selectyourtickets.com.
Victoria Royals 0 at Kelowna Rockets 5 - Status: Final
Friday, April 10, 2015 - Prospera Place - Kelowna, BC
Victoria 0 0 0 - 0
Kelowna 0 2 3 - 5
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
1, Kelowna, Baillie 3 (Draisaitl, Wheaton), 5:40.
2, Kelowna, Martin 1 (Merkley, Morrissey), 19:37.
Penalties-Johansen Kel (hooking), 8:10; Hicketts Vic (holding), 13:52; Goulbourne Kel (hooking), 14:47; Forsberg Vic (hooking), 15:54.
3, Kelowna, Quinney 2 (Baillie, Draisaitl), 7:59.
4, Kelowna, Chartier 5 (Bowey, Morrissey), 10:36 (PP).
5, Kelowna, Soustal 2 (Lind, Morrissey), 19:27 (PP).
Penalties-Stadel Kel (hooking), 1:42; Reddekopp Vic (checking from behind), 8:49; Gagnon Vic (delay of game), 9:04; Baillie Kel (slashing), 10:54; Reddekopp Vic (slashing), 17:58.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 0 / 4;
Kelowna 2 / 5.
Victoria, Vollrath 4-2-0-0 (44 shots-39 saves).
Kelowna, Whistle 4-0-0-0 (20 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Jeff Ingram (82), Brett Iverson (24).
Linesmen-Bevan Mills (98), Dustin Minty (86).