POE close in on midget tourney playoffs
There could be as many as two Kelowna teams in the semi-finals of the 35th annual Kelowna Elite Midget Hockey Tournament going on at Memorial and Rutland arenas.
The host Fripp Warehousing Jr. Rockets will not be among them.
The Jr. Rockets fell from playoff contention losing their second in a row to cross-town rivals Pursuit of Excellence 6-0 Friday night.
The loss dropped the hosts to 2-2 and left them in the role of spoilers.
"It was the same story as last night," a dejected Jr. Rockets head coach Eric Blais stated after the game.
Blais was referring to the lack of execution on the power-play.
After his squad squandered power-play after power-play in going 2-13 the night before in a 5-2 loss to the Waterloo Wolves, the power-play completely dried up going 0-9 Friday.
"It's ironic because that's what we've been feasting on," says Blais.
"But this tournament is a step up and obviously we're not executing like we should.
Zach Andrusiak scored twice for the winners while Ralph Jarratt had a goal and an assist.
Pursuit grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period then blew the game wide open with three straight power-play goals and a four-on-four goal to take a commanding 5-0 lead after 40 minutes.
Not only did they score three power-play goals POE also killed off seven minors in the middle period including a full two minutes of five-on-three.
POE sits second in its pool with a 3-1 record good for nine points, one in back of pool leading Waterloo.
Burnaby Winter Club is third at 2-2.
POE control their own destiny, a win of any kind or an overtime or shootout loss and they clinch one of the two playoff berths available in their pool.
"That's what you want to set yourself up for," says POE head coach Ryan Wade.
"It didn't look that way on day one when we lost that first game but we've done a good job to battle back, get ourselves to 3-1 and put ourselves in a position that we hold our fate in our own hands. Win and you're in and that's what we want to get done."
A regulation loss and a Burnaby win over the host Jr. Rockets Saturday morning would vault Burnaby into the semi's based on their earlier win over POE.
On the other side of the draw the major midget Okanagan Rockets ran their record to a perfect 4-0 Friday beating defending champion Thunder Bay Kings 4-3.
Linden Hora scored a pair to pace the Rockets who will finish first in their pool .
They will play the second place team in the other pool in the first of two semi-finals Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Rutland Arena.
Prince George control their own destiny in search for the second playoff spot.
Prince George gets in with a win over Idaho's Compete Academy.
Compete get in with a regulation win while Thunder Bay have an outside chance, however, they will need to win and Compete Academy would have to beat PG in overtime to force a three way tie.
The semi-finals will be played Saturday night in the Rutland Arena at 5 p.m. and 7:30.
Sunday's championship game will take place at Prospera Place beginning at 12:30.
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