Several friendships will be renewed when the Rockets and T-Birds open their playoff series Friday

A postseason homecoming

Some texts and phone calls were exchanged earlier this month when the Kelowna Rockets and Seattle Thunderbirds found out they would be first round playoff opponents.

The teams who have been frequent trade partners over the past three years will once again do battle in the post season with friends and former teammates across the ice from one another.

The series will be the first meeting between the two teams since a trade deadline blockbuster sent Colton Dach to the T-Birds for forward Ty Hurley, defenceman Ethan Mittelsteadt and three draft picks.

"When I found out, a few of my buddies texted me, but I think I'm just worried about the task at hand and how our team is going to handle ourselves," said Mittelsteadt following practice earlier this week.

"Definitely excited for the opportunity. I'm going to feel real comfortable there which I think is going to help me out personally."

Hurley, who spent less than two months in Seattle after being acquired in an earlier deal with Swift Current says he knows the guys on the other side and is excited for the opportunity.

"Playing there I know their strategies, I know how they play," said Hurley.

"Obviously a lot of that is up to the coaches but playing there, I feel I have an advantage. I know what their systems are I feel it can definitely be an advantage."

Knowing what they will do and trying to stop them are, of course two different things.

"We are aware of the team on the other side and everything that they're about, but I think if we focus on our game that's going to bring us the most success," said Mittelsteadt.

"They are a very deep club over there but I think we will handle them one line at a time and with the guys we have here I think we can take care of them."

The T-Birds finished with the best record in the Western Conference with 54 wins and 111 points. The Rockets were eighth with 27 wins.

While Seattle is heavily favoured Mittelsteadt knows the team is confident and relishes the opportunity before them.

"Obviously if you look at the standings you can call us underdogs, but I think we have no pressure here and we are just going to go out and play.

"We have lots of confidence in our team so maybe you could say we don't really feel as much underdogs as people might say. That should be an advantage for us going forward."

"It should be fun," added Hurley.

The series opens up with games one and two in Seattle Friday and Saturday. It shifts to Prospera Place next Tuesday and Wednesday.

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