It's not how you start - it's how you finish that counts.
The Kelowna Rockets fell behind 3-0 early, survived a video review and roared back for a thrilling 5-4 win over the Portland Winterhawks in game one of the WHL's Western Conference final.
The Winterhawks built up the 3-0 lead on five shots before the game was 13 minutes old thanks to a goal in the game's opening minute and a pair of power-play markers.
Tyson Baillie got one back when his wrist shot on a delayed penalty from the right circle beat Brendan Burke to the far side.
Madison Bowey's fourth of the playoffs shorthanded with less than a minute to go in the first cut the deficit to one.
The Winterhawks appeared to make it 4-2 just as the period expired, however, a video review showed the front edge of the puck just got to the goal line as time expired negating the goal.
Rockets head coach Ryan Huska says the events of the final minute seemed to tip the game in the Rockets favour.
"If that goes in there is potential for that to deflate us. But I thought we got better as the game went on," says Huska.
"We just started playing a little bit steadier. Not as many turnovers as we had early on in the game which I think has a lot to do with some anxious energy a lot of our players had."
The team traded goals in the second period before the Rockets came out and dominated the final 20 minutes.
Justin Kirkland tied it 4-4 deflecting home Bowey's point shot on a Rockets power-play 4:17 into the third.
Jesse Lees brought the sellout crowd of 6,218 out of their seats 1:42 later when he tapped home a rebound.
Lees, a converted defenceman playing up front knocked in his first of the playoffs after Burke had made a nice save off Baillie's initial shot.
The Rockets had a couple of glorious chances to widen the lead. Ryan Olsen hit the cross bar on a partial breakaway and Burke stopped Baillie all alone in close.
"It wasn't the start we wanted but we definitely bounced back nicely," said captain Madison Bowey who had an assist to go with his goal.
"A lot of the older guys really stepped up and got on the body and we started playing our game. We'll take those wins and it's a huge win in the first game of the series."
Huska thought the Rockets played well in the opening period but stressed they need to stay out of the penalty box.
"Absolutely, that's a key to this series. They move pucks around really well - as good as anybody," said Huska.
"Some penalties you have to take over the course of a game but the ones you take in the offensive zone are killers especially if they are not physical ones. They scored on both of those on us. We have to make corrections in that area for sure."
The game deteriorated over the final seconds with everyone on the ice jostling with one another.
Winterhawks Nic Petan took a checking to the head minor as time expired which the league will likely take a look at.
"It's going to be a battle this series. It's the conference finals, we don't like each other. It happens, it's hockey," said Baillie of the skirmish at the end.
The Rockets outshot Portland 36-26 including 14-4 during a dominating final 20 minutes.
"I felt like we didn't allow them many opportunities," said Huska of the final 20 minutes.
"They are going to get their opportunities, they're a very good team but I liked the way our guys responded. I thought we played a pretty good third period, probably our best of the night."
Game two in the series goes Saturday at 7 back at Prospera Place.
The series then shifts to Portland for games three and four Tuesday and Wednesday.
All-world Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk is renowned for his puck-handling wizardry, a skill he showed again Friday night against the Boston Bruins.CBC.ca
Winnipeg's Mike McEwen remains the only undefeated skip at the Players' Championship after he edged Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 7-6 in Draw 12 action Friday afternoon in Summerside, P.E.I.CBC.ca
Melky Cabrera had four hits and scored Toronto's go-ahead run in the seventh inning on Edwin Encarnacion's single, and the Blue Jays held on for a 3-2 win over the Indians on Friday night in Cleveland.CBC.ca
Pavel Datsyuk scored the game's lone goal, Jimmy Howard made 25 saves and the Red wings beat the Bruins in Game 1 of their series in Boston on Friday.CBC.ca
Former Olympic curling champion Kevin Martin has announced his retirement. A four-time Brier champion, Martin won Olympic gold in Vancouver in 2010, and won the World Curling Championship in 2008.CBC.ca
Don Cherry gave some perspective on the Canadian content in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and talked about the 'old-time hockey' being played in the Sharks-Kings series.CBC.ca
Don Cherry gives some perspective on the Canadian content in the Stanley Cup playoffs.CBC.ca
The Toronto Raptors refuse to believe the Brooklyn Nets tanked down the stretch in order to meet them and avoid the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs.CBC.ca
Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was fined $25,000 US Friday by the NHL for inappropriate conduct during Game 1 of the team’s playoff game against the St. Louis Blues a night earlier.CBC.ca
The Toronto Blue Jays plan to activate shortstop Jose Reyes from the disabled list on Saturday, and will play in the team's matchup that afternoon against Cleveland.CBC.ca
K.J. Choi carded a 4-under par 67 for a one-stroke lead over Robert Allenby before rain halted the remainder of Friday's second round of the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, S.C.CBC.ca
Philadelphia Flyers netminder Steve Mason suggested Friday that he might be back between the pipes for Game 2 against the hometown New York Rangers on Sunday.CBC.ca
The Columbus Blue Jackets confirmed Friday that forward R.J. Umberger is ready to return to the lineup for Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.CBC.ca
Playoff experience is the early theme of the Toronto Raptors' first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets, which gets underway Saturday at Air Canada Centre.CBC.ca
Aleksandra Wozniak and Eugenie Bouchard will play Canada's first two singles matches in its Fed Cup World Group 1 playoff tie with Slovakia in Montreal on Saturday.CBC.ca
The Toronto Blue Jays will try to bounce back from a doubleheader loss at Minnesota when they travel to Cleveland to open a series against the hometown Indians on Friday.CBC.ca
Hockey is a religion in Quebec. Just ask the Roman Catholic Church.CBC.ca
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