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Kelowna Rockets clinched a playoff spot with an overtime win in Spokane

Rockets hit post season

The Kelowna Rockets knew they had punched their playoff ticket as soon as they went to overtime with the Spokane Chiefs.

Captain Gabriel Szturc's overtime winner was merely icing on the cake.

Only the Chiefs stood between the Rockets and the playoffs, and Saturday's 5-4 overtime win slams the door shut on Spokane's chances to catch Kelowna.

Now, the Rockets have their sights again set on the seventh place Vancouver Giants. Saturday's win, coupled with the Giants 6-0 loss in Kamloops leaves Kelowna just three points in back of the Giants. Vancouver does hold a game in hand.

The Rockets jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the 6:37 mark of the second, but the Chiefs, fighting their their post season lives scratched and clawed their way back in it.

Three goals in a span of less than five minutes later in the second pulled them to within a goal then, with the Chiefs all over the Rockets in the third, they finally found the equalizer when Berkly Catton beat Jari Kykkanen with 2:02 to go in regulation.

Szturc with a pair, Dylan Wightman, Elias Carmichael and Marcus Pacheco all scored for the Rockets. Szturc's game winner came with the Rockets enjoying a five minute man advantage in the overtime period.

Kykkanen, making his fourth straight start, turned aside 37 of the 41 shots he faced including 19 of 20 during a hectic third period.

The Rockets power play was the difference in the game going three-for-five including the game winner.

Kelowna conclude their three-game weekend in Tri-City Sunday.



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