Rockets clinch WHL title

For the third time in franchise history the Kelowna Rockets will be raising a Western Hockey League regular season championship banner.

The current edition of the Rockets joined the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 clubs as teams which have won regular season title.

The Rockets clinched the title Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the Blazers in Kamloops.

Ryan Olsen scored twice to pace the Rockets attack.

Nick Merkley and Tyrell Goulbourne also scored for the Rockets. Madison Bowey added a pair of assists.

After a scoreless first, Merkley and Olsen scored less than four minutes apart in the second to give Kelowna a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Eric Krienke got one back for the Blazers midway through the third before Goulbourne netted his 17th of the season with less than four minutes left to restore the Rockets two goal cushion.

Olsen's second of the game into an empty net with just over a minute to go sealed the victory.

The Rockets (55-11-0-4) close out the regular season with back-to-back games against the Giants Friday in Vancouver and Saturday back at Prospera Place.

They open up the playoffs the following Saturday when they host Tri-City in game one of their first round best-of-seven series.

Here is the remainder of the first round playoff schedule:

  • Game 2: Tri-Cities @ Kelowna      Sunday, March 23             5:05
  • Game 3: Kelowna @ Tri-Cities      Tuesday, March 25           7:05
  • Game 4: Kelowna @ Tri-Cities      Wednesday, March 26    7:05
  • Game 5: Tri-Cities @ Kelowna      Friday, March 28               7:05 *
  • Game 6: Kelowna @ Tri-Cities      Saturday, March 29          7:05 *
  • Game 7: Tri-Cities @ Kelowna      Tuesday, April 1                7:05 *

*If necessary


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More WHL articles