CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3/27

WHL FIRST ROUND -- WESTERN CONFERENCE

Game 5: (5) Kelowna Rockets 2 @ (4) Seattle Thunderbirds 6
Seattle leads Best of 7 series 3-2

G Torrie Jung, KEL:
Game: No decision, 17 saves on 20 shots in relief
Series: 1 GP, 0-0, 3.82 GAA, .850 sv%

G Riku Helenius, SEA:
Game: Win, 25 saves on 27 shots
Series: 4 GP, 2-2, 3.01 GAA, .900 sv%

Helenius reclaimed the No.1 spot for Seattle and though he gave up a goal 22 seconds into the game on the Rockets' first shot, he shut down Kelowna the rest of the way to give the T-Birds a 3-2 lead in the series. As for Jung, he came into the game mid-way through the first period after Kristofer Westblom, who had a shaky Game 4, gave up 3 goals on 8 shots. Jung may be the favorite to start Game 6 for the Rockets Saturday night in Kelowna. Seattle has won 3 in a row in the series.

The game ended on an ugly note when Kelowna’s James McEwan, a former T-Bird, blatantly tackled Helenius after the final horn resulting in both teams getting involved in a shoving match.

According to the Seattle Times, Helenius, who was uninjured, tried to laugh it off.

"Their guys were chirping at me all series," Helenius told the newspaper. "So it was a little surprising, but I don't care that much."

Kelowna’s coach, Ryan Huska, responded to he incident by praising McEwan’s fiery nature: “That’s why he’s our leader.”

Ah, the WHL.

Just in case the McEwan tackle wasn’t dirty enough, Doyle Potenteau of the Kelowna Daily Courier reports seeing this sign in the stands in Seattle regarding one of Kelowna’s defensemen:

Colin Joe illegally downloads.

Now that's just cold.

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Playoff Time

I was at the game in Seattle last night and would have posted on this game last night if this web site allowed me to post new threads. As I have mentioned before, I follow the TB prospects as I am formerly from Springfield where TB used to place players in the AHL. Now for my report on the game: Riku was very good in goal coming up big several times. I would not call the game dirty, rather more playoff hockey up until the last minut of the game. Ian McKensie scored making the score 6 - 2 with 31 seconds to go in the game. When it came time to drop the puck at ceter ice, the Tbirds lined up big defenseman Benn Olsen up on the right wing position and Kelowna lined up rookie Collin Bowman. When Kelowna's big defenseman 6' 5" 220 pound Tysen Dowzak saw that, he immediately switched positions with Bowman and as the puck dropped the two squared off with Olsen definitely winning the bout. This fight ensued at 19:30 of the third just one second after the tbirds goal. The game concluded with the puck in the neutral zone and for some reason James McEwen decided to go skate directly into Helenius knocking him to the ice. Helenius skated directly to the dressing room making no effort to fight while the Seattle team did their best to take on McEwen.

As for Helenius stating that they have been chirping at him the whole series, he is absolutely correct. One memorable time was in one of the first two games of the series when the period had ended and the tbirds went to the dressing room. Well, Helenius was playing in the far goal and he was pretty much the only tbird player left on the ice and Kelown took that opportunity to hold him up a bit so that they could have their crack at him.

As for Torrie Jung, he played well enough for Kelowna especially when he had started to skate behind the net to stop a dump in and the puck took a bad bounce off the boards. Jung dove back making an outstanding stick save.

As for the sign in the stands, I saw nothing of the sort in the building. I am not going to say it was not there, but I did not see it and I usually do not miss things like signs.

Thanks Ffan

Thanks for the report. On the sign - I saw it mentioned on a newspaper blog sourcing the other newspaper - so take that for what it's worth. I thought it was entertaining at the least.

Re: Posting...

At the least, you should be able to post a blog entry without any special privileges. I'll talk to Tim about it and see if there's something more we can do.

Thanks again,

Chad.

Posting

Hi Chad,
Yes, Please talk to Tim about granting me privelages to enter new postings covering Tampa Bay Prospects in the WHL. I know that Riku Helenius will probably be in Norfolk next year, but I will be a season ticket holder to the Thunderbirds and will be able to keep fans here updated whenever tampa Bay prospects come to town. Riku is developing and you can see his talent. It is amazing how much he reminds me of when I used to watch Ramo in Springfield. Anyway, Game six of the playoff series between the Rockets and Tbirds is tomorrow night. I had the chance to reacquaint myself with Kelowna Asst. Coach Jeff Finley (he played in Springfield and was part of the 1989 - 1990 Calder Cup team) and if there is a game 7 in Seattle I will ask him about Jung.

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