The Kelowna Rockets showed their best side Wednesday night, the one with their backs against the wall.
Needing a victory to stay in their best-of-seven Western Hockey League first-round playoff series, the Rockets won it the way they lost the first two games of this series, with better discipline and superior special-teams play. Kelowna snuffed all six Chiefs power-play opportunities while scoring on two of five chances with the Chiefs in the penalty box. Brett McLean and Jason Deleureme scored on the power play for the Rockets, who trail the chiefs two games to one heading into Friday night’s Game Four in the Arena.
About 3,000 tickets remain for that game this morning.
For only the second time in this series the Rockets held a lead, scoring first when McLean re-directed Luke Curtin’s shot from the right circle 6 minutes into the game, with Kelowna on the power play.
The Chiefs evened it at 1 on Greg Leeb’s first goal of the series, walking into the high slot alone and sticking the puck between goaltender Aaron MacDonald’s pads at 13:47 of the first.
Karol Betik and Tyler Prosofsky added goals for Kelowna, which added a fifth goal into an empty net inside the final minute after the Chiefs pulled netminder Aren Miller.
Joe Caredarelli scored his third goal of the playoffs to pull the Chief to within 3-2 late in the second period, but Betik scored from the high slot early in the third.
Former Spokane Braves winger Scott Parker had two assists for Kelowna and was voted first star of the game.
MacDonald, after a shaky start in this series, swept aside 30 of Spokane’s 32 shots. Miller had 24 saves for Spokane. , DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo
MEMO: Changed in Spokane edition.
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