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WHL  

Rockets Edge Past Bruins

As sure as death and taxes, the Kelowna Rockets and Chilliwack Bruins will battle the remainder of the season for the fourth and final playoff spot in the B.C. Division of the Western Conference.

The team that wins the eight game season series will more than likely earn that last playoff spot.

The Rockets took a 3-1 in the season series, beating the visiting Bruins 4-3 Saturday night at Prospera Place.

The win moves the Rockets three points up on the fifth place Bruins. Kelowna also holds two games in hand.

Jason MacDonald, acquired from Regina in that blockbuster six player trade a month ago scored the winning goal, his first in a Rockets uniform.

MacDonald snapped a 3-3 tie with five and a half minutes left in regulation time when he beat Bruins goaltender Matt Esposito through the five-hole from twenty feet out.

MacDonald says he's not sure how the puck went in, but he's just glad he was able to contribute.

"It's a really great feeling --- I can't even describe it. We played really well tonight and I thought we deserved the win," says MacDonald.

Colin Long scored twice for the Rockets, giving him five goals in six games since the Christmas break. Myles MacRae scored the other goal for the Rockets.

Dillon Johnstone with a pair and Mark Santorelli replied for the Bruins.

The Rockets led 2-0 before the game was four minutes old, however the Bruins battled back to eventually tie the score at three before the end of the second, setting the stage for MacDonald's heroics.

Just 24 hours earlier, the Rockets blew a pair of one goal leads in losing 5-2 in Kamloops.

Assistant coach Ryan Huska says the win was important, especially after the game in Kamloops.

"It was important for us to come back. We worked hard in the third period and I'm especially happy for MacDonald who worked hard all night. It sends a positive message to the kids that good things will happen if you work hard," says Huska.

The Rockets and Bruins meet four more times before the end of the regular season with two of those games coming over the next 12 days.


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