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Thunderbirds

Another Six Goals Carry Kelowna Past Seattle In Game 2

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Seattle Thunderbirds' defenseman Ethan Bear (25) falls to the ice in a game earlier this season. Bear and the T-Birds were dumped in Game 2 by Kelowna, 6-3. (Photo by Brian Liesse, WHL)

Seattle Thunderbirds’ defenseman Ethan Bear (25) falls to the ice in a game earlier this season. Bear and the T-Birds were dumped in Game 2 by Kelowna, 6-3. (Photo by Brian Liesse, WHL)

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(1090 The Fan) — Kelowna broke open a 2-2 game with three second-period goals en route to a 6-3 Game 2 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds, Saturday night.

The Rockets, as per their custom, once again utilized a balanced-scoring effort in their victory. After scoring six goals in the Game 1 win, the Rockets duplicated the effort with another six against Seattle goaltender Taran Kozun. They did so with six different goal scorers.

Center Nick Merkley finished with a goal and two assists as did defenseman Damon Severson. Also scoring for the Rockets were Riley Stadel, Cole Linaker, Rourke Chartier and Tyrell Goulbourne.

This was a game the T-Birds needed to have, to avoid falling down in the series two games to zero, but the team again struggled to contain the potent Kelowna offense.

Kelowna jumped out to a 2-0 advantage midway through the first period when Stadel took a Carter Rigby feed on a 2-on-1 break and beat Kozun at the 8:00 mark. That goal was followed up by one from Merkley who was stationed on the left goal post at 11:46. Madison Bowey pump faked a slap shot and instead slid a pretty pass through defenders to Merkley that Kozun could not recover to defend.

Seattle showed a lot of poise as it fought back to tie the game at 2-2 before the period came to an end.

A nice tic-tac-toe passing effort at 14:03 found Roberts Lipsbergs cutting to the crease to put the T-Birds on the board. Another strong forecheck by the T-Birds, this time led by Keegan Kolesar and Mitch Elliot, kept the puck in the Rockets’ zone and led to Scott Eansor’s fourth goal of the playoffs when he cleaned up a rebound in front of Rockets’ goalie Jordon Cooke at 16:12.

The goals capped a first period in which the T-Birds out shot Kelowna 18-7. In the second period, Kelowna got on its power play and Seattle never recovered.

It all started when T-Birds’ defenseman Evan Wardley went to the penalty box at 1:39 for roughing. A few moments later Seattle forward Mathew Barzal gave Kelowna a 5-on-3 advantage by taking a hooking penalty at 2:52. That led to Severson’s power-play goal at 3:12 to allow Kelowna to reclaim the lead. It never looked back.

The Rockets would follow with goals from Linaker and Chartier at 4:46 and 14:01 respectively. Neither came on the power play, but the amount of time Seattle spent on the penalty kill allowed Kelowna to take a 17-8 advantage in shots and wear down the T-Birds’ defense.

Kelowna took a 5-2 lead into the final period, and despite an Alexander Delnov goal at 2:49, the team coasted to its second win of the series. Cooke finished with 36 saves on 39 shots and the team held the Thunderbirds to 0-for-2 on their power play.

The series now shifts to Kent for games three and four on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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SCORING SUMMARY

First Period

1. KEL Riley Stadel (1) (Rigby, Linaker), 8:00

2. KEL Nick Merkley (1) (Bowey, Tvrdon), 11:46

3. SEA Roberts Lipsbergs (2) (Troock, Maxwell), 14:03

4. SEA Scott Eansor (4) (Elliot, Kolesar), 16:12

Second Period

5. KEL Damon Severson (3) (Bowey, Merkley), 3:12 (PP)

6. KEL Cole Linaker (3) (Rigby, Severson), 4:46

7. KEL Rourke Chartier (5) (Merkley, Severson), 14:01

Third Period

8. SEA Alexander Delnov (3) (Theodore, Barzal), 2:49

9. KEL Tyrell Goulbourne (1) (Heffley), 18:03 (EN)

-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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