Kelowna Rockets win WHL title
Overtime win propels squad to Memorial Cup
For the fourth time in seven years, the Kelowna Rockets will play in the Memorial Cup.
Tyson Barrie scored 8:13 into overtime Saturday as the Rockets defeated the Calgary Hitmen 3-2 in Game 6 of the Western Hockey League championship series in Kelowna.
With the win, Kelowna claimed the best-of-seven series 4-2, and will represent the WHL at the 2009 Memorial Cup in Rimouski, Que., which gets under way May 15.
The Rockets also earned trips to the Memorial Cup in 2003 and 2005 as league champions, and won in 2004 as tournament hosts.
Kelowna beat a Hitmen team that finished with 122 points in the regular season, best in the WHL.
In the previous round, the Rockets beat the Vancouver Giants, who finished the regular season with 119 points. Kelowna finished the regular season with 98 points, good for third in the WHL's Western Conference.
Colin Long and Lucas Bloodoff also scored for Kelowna, which trailed 1-0 after the first period but led 2-1 at the end two.
Bostjan Golicic, who opened Saturday's scoring, and Joel Broda, late in the third, replied for Calgary.
Mark Guggenberger made 24 saves for the Rockets, while Martin Jones turned aside 47 shots for the Hitmen.
Calgary opened the scoring early in the first period with Golicic's short-handed goal at 7:45.
Long levelled just past the midway point of the second with a power-play goal before Bloodoff made it 2-1 for Kelowna at 13:03.
In the third, the Hitmen converted a late power play to make it 2-2 to force the game into overtime with Broda with jamming in a loose puck.
In overtime, Barrie ended the series on the power play, as he pinched in from the point and converted a back-door pass from Jamie Benn. The shot was Kelowna's 50th of the night.