CHL

Rockets down 3-0 after Lipon scores in OT for Blazers

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The Canadian Press
4/10/2013 2:39:49 AM
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The Kelowna Rockets find themselves in familiar territory after dropping a 5-4 overtime decision to the host Kamloops Blazers on Tuesday in Western Hockey League action.

JC Lipon scored 3:43 into overtime for Kamloops, which now has a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven second-round series.

Kelowna, which finished with the second most wins of any club in the WHL this season, fell behind 3-0 in its opening round matchup with the Seattle Thunderbirds before pulling off four straight victories to meet up with Kamloops. The Rockets have needed extra time on six occasions already in the post-season to decide a winner and have fallen in four of those contests.

Dylan Willick scored twice and added an assist for the Blazers, who have outscored Kelowna 14-7 in the series, while Brendan Ranford had a goal and an assist.

Kale Kessy also scored for Kamloops and Lipon tacked on an assist for a two-point outing.

Lipon leads the WHL in post-season scoring with five goals and 19 points in eight games.

JT Barnett had two goals for the Rockets and Colten Martin and Ryan Olsen each scored once.

Cole Cheveldave made 33 saves for the win. Jackson Whistle picked up the loss after allowing two goals on 18 shots in 43 minutes of relief. Whistle replaced Jordan Cooke to start the second period after Cooke gave up three goals on 11 shots.

Kamloops went 1 for 6 on the power play, while Kelowna failed to score on four chances with the man advantage.

The Rockets will look to avoid elimination on Wednesday when the Blazers host Game 4.

Elsewhere in the WHL, it was: Edmonton 9, Medicine Hat 2; Calgary 3, Red Deer 2 (OT); and Portland 3, Spokane 1.

At Kamloops, B.C., Ranford opened the scoring 11:41 into the first period with a power-play goal.

Barnett and Olsen scored 1:40 apart to put Kelowna ahead, however Willick and Kessy scored late to give the Blazers a 3-2 after 20 minutes of play.

Barnett tied the game 3:57 into the second period and Martin made it 4-3 for the Rockets at 5:25. But Willick responded for Kamloops midway through the period to make it 4-4 heading into second intermission.

After a scoreless third period, Lipon scored on Kamloops third shot in extra time.

Oil Kings 9, Tigers 2

At Medicine Hat, Alta., Henrik Samuelsson, Michael St. Croix and Martin Gernat each scored twice as the Oil Kings crushed the Tigers to go up 3-0 in their second-round series. Edmonton can seal a spot in the Eastern Conference final with a road win on Wednesday.

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Hitmen 3, Rebels 2 (OT)

At Red Deer, Alta., Cody Sylvester scored 5:10 into overtime and Chris Driedger stopped 37-of-39 shots as the Hitmen edged the Rebels to take a 3-1 lead in their second-round matchup. Calgary can wrap up the series on home ice Thursday.

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Winterhawks 3, Chiefs 1

At Spokane,Wash., Nicolas Petan scored once and added an assist and Mac Carruth made 25 saves as the Winterhawks beat the Chiefs to go ahead 3-0 in their second-round series. Spokane will look to avoid elimination when they host Game 4 on Wednesday.

Kamloops Blazers (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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