The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-3 in overtime on Saturday night in the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington for game two of the Western Conference Championship.
Nick Merkley(4) opened the scoring 12:52 into the first period. Reid Gardiner scored again for the Rockets with fractions of a second left on the clock on the penalty kill to give the Rockets a 2-0 lead heading into the second. Gardiner's goal was his 14th of the post season setting a new franchise record for goals in a post season passing the mark previously set by Jamie Benn in 2009 when he notched 13.
3:12 into the second period Ethan Bear(5) responded for the Thunderbirds to cut the lead in half. The score stayed that way all period until Kole Lind(5) pulled the Rockets back ahead by two on the power play at 19:34. The score was 3-1 Rockets heading into the third period.
In the third Keegan Kolesar scored his seventh before Donovan Neuls scored his sixth and the game was tied at 3-3. After some back and forth play the Rockets were headed to overtime for the first time this post season.
4:56 into the overtime period Reid Gardiner accepted a pass in tight from Calvin Thurkauf and ripped home his second of the game, and 15th of the playoffs to give the Rockets a 4-3 overtime victory.
The Rockets were led tonight by Thurkauf who collected four assists in the win. Gardiner also had a multi-point night with two goals.
Michael Herringer stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced as the Thunderbirds outshot the Rockets 33-32.
Kelowna evens the series at 1-1 as it shifts back to Kelowna for games three and four. Game three goes on Tuesday, April 25th at 7:05pm at Prospera Place. Game four is the following night, Wednesday, April 26th at the same time.