Geordie Wudrick muscles past defenseman Tanner Muth just before depositing his first of two goals against the Seattle T-Birds. (Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet)
Geordie Wudrick muscles past defenseman Tanner Muth just before depositing his first of two goals against the Seattle T-Birds. (Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet)

Wudrick, Rockets clip Thunderbirds

by - Story: 53118

Get Geordie Wudrick one-on-one against any goaltender and he's one of the most dangerous snipers in the Western Hockey League.

The 19-year-old Abbotsford native got the best of Seattle net minder Calvin Pickard twice on first period breakaways Friday leading the Kelowna Rockets to a convincing 5-0 victory over the lowly Thunderbirds.

On his first goal, Wudrick took a feed from Brandon McMillan, broke in alone and put a double move on Pickard before tucking a backhand into a wide-open net.

Three minutes later, Wudrick intercepted an ill-advised pass up the middle of the ice, skated around a defenseman and beat Pickard to the far side from about 10 feet out.

Wudrick also picked up an assist for a three point night.

"He's got great hands and that's one of the reasons why we made that trade," says coach Ryan Huska of Wudrick.

"We knew he would score some goals for us but we also thought he would give us a little bit more of a physical presence than Stepan (Novotny) would, and he does that. He's been good over the last little while and he's contributing for us and that's important."

McMillan with a goal and two assists, Evan Bloodoff with his third in five games and Brett Bulmer also scored for the Rockets.

Mark Guggenberger was asked to make on 16 saves for his fourth win and first shutout of the season.

"I'm sure it did (help his confidence). I thought he was solid in the net tonight with the exception of the one he tried to put in on himself. He was steady and in the second period he made some very big saves for us and at that time, if they score there was a potential for a momentum shift."

The start was Guggenberger's first since a February 21st loss in Seattle.

Despite the shutout, Huska was non-committal as to who would get the start Saturday against Vancouver.

"That's out of my hands," says Guggenberger when asked if he thought a second straight start was warranted.

"I've been working hard in practice and I'll just leave the decisions up to them."

It's been a tough season for Guggenberger who was 17-3-1-2 with the Rockets a season ago before leading the team to the Memorial Cup.

"I missed a lot of time so I'm just trying to catch up with everyone else. Adam has been doing a great job and getting us points every night. You can't not play a guy like that."

The Rockets have just four games left in the regular season as they try to nail down sixth spot in the Western Conference.

Friday's win gives them 70 points, two up on seventh place Kamloops. The Blazers have just three games remaining in the regular season.

The Rockets are back on the ice Saturday when they host the Vancouver Giants.

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