Reid Schaefer, Nico Myatovic, Tyrel Bauer and the rest of the Seattle Thunderbirds will open the Western Hockey League playoffs Friday, April 22 against the Kelowna Rockets at the accesso ShoWare Center. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, Seattle Thunderbirds

Reid Schaefer, Nico Myatovic, Tyrel Bauer and the rest of the Seattle Thunderbirds will open the Western Hockey League playoffs Friday, April 22 against the Kelowna Rockets at the accesso ShoWare Center. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, Seattle Thunderbirds

T-Birds to open WHL playoffs against Kelowna Rockets in Kent

Best-of-seven series starts April 22 at the ShoWare Center

The Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds will open the Western Hockey League playoffs next week against the Kelowna (British Columbia) Rockets in a best-of-seven series.

Seattle (42-18-4-2) clinched the fourth seed in the Western Conference with a 4-1 win over the Everett Silvertips on Sunday. Kelowna is the fifth seed.

The Rockets play the T-Birds in the playoff opener at 7:05 p.m. Friday, April 22 at the accesso ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St. Game 2 is at 6:05 p.m. Saturday, April 23 at the ShoWare Center. Seattle travels to Kelowna on Tuesday and Wednesday April 26-27.

If necessary, the rest of the series includes Game 5 at 7:05 p.m. Friday, April 29 at the ShoWare; Game 6 Sunday, May 1 at Kelowna; and Game 7 at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, May 3 at the ShoWare Center.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 13 at tickets.seattlethunderbirds.com. As of Monday, ticket prices were not yet released.

The top eight teams in the Western Conference advance to the playoffs. The Everett Silvertips entered this week atop the conference followed by the Kamloops Blazers and Portland Winterhawks.

The T-Birds won the season series against Kelowna 3-1, with one of the victories via a shootout. Seattle won 4-3 in the last clash on March 1.

Seattle forward Jared Davidson had one goal and five assists against the Rockets in four games. Kevin Korchinski had two goals and three assists while Jordan Gustafson tallied one goal and three assists. Goalkeeper Thomas Milic had two wins against the Rockets while Scott Ratzlaff went 1-1.

The top performers for the Rockets against Seattle included Chicago Blackhawks prospect Colton Dach with one goal and four assists and Gabriel Szturc with two goals and three assists.

The T-Birds finish the regular season with two road games, Wednesday, April 13 at Vancouver and Friday, April 15 at Tri-City.

Playoff schedule

• Game 1: Kelowna at Seattle, Friday, April 22, 7:05 p.m.

• Game 2: Kelowna at Seattle, Saturday, April 23, 6:05 p.m.

• Game 3: Seattle at Kelowna, Tuesday, April 26, 7:05 p.m.

• Game 4: Seattle at Kelowna, Wednesday, April 27, 7:05 p.m.

• Game 5*: Kelowna at Seattle, Friday, April 29, 7:05 p.m.

• Game 6*: Seattle at Kelowna, Sunday, May 1, 4:05 p.m.

• Game 7*: Kelowna at Seattle, Tuesday, May 3, 7:05 p.m.

* If necessary


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