RECAP: Thunderbirds end Rockets 2022-23 season
The Kelowna Rockets 2022-23 season came to an end on Wednesday night at Prospera Place as the Seattle Thunderbirds won their fourth straight game to sweep the Rockets in their best-of-seven first-round series.
Seattle led 1-0 through 40 minutes of play before once again stepping up their play in the third period to pull away from Kelowna.
It’s the second consecutive season in which the Thunderbirds have eliminated the Rockets in the first round of the postseason.
Seattle, who won a Club-record 54 regular-season games en route to claiming the top seed in the Western Conference, reached the WHL Championship series in 2022 for the third time in six years.
After Jari Kykkanen started the first three games of the series, the Rockets elected to put 20-year-old Talyn Boyko in net for game four. The New York Ranger prospect stopped 35 of the 38 shots fired at him.
Kelowna started the second period with just over a minute of five-on-three power play time, but was unable to get the puck past goaltender Thomas Milic. Calgary Flames prospect Lucas Ciona (3) opened the scoring 8:42 into the middle fame while Max Graham was sitting in the penalty box.
Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Guenther (5) scored his fifth goal of the series to give the T-Birds a two-goal lead, minutes later Vegas Golden Knights prospect Jordan Gustafson (2) added a third goal.