By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald
KELOWNA, British Columbia — The Tri-City Americans may be the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, but they didn’t play like it Saturday night.
Kelowna got two goals from Rourke Chartier, and the Rockets held off the pesky Americans 3-1 before a crowd of 5,827 at Prospera Place to take a 1-0 lead in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.
“The guys are disappointed,” Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said in a phone interview. “They know we were right there. We could have won. We aren’t here to play, we are here to win. We showed that and we believe that.”
The best-of-7 series continues today with a 5:05 p.m. at Kelowna. The series shifts to Toyota Center on Tuesday and Wednesday for Games 3 and 4.
“I’ll take the same game tomorrow with a different result,” Hiller said. “We need to keep their chances down and create more for ourselves.”
The Americans seemed to get better as the game wore on.
Trailing 2-1 after two periods, the Americans peppered Kelowna goalie Jordon Cooke with 10 shots in the third period, and even though there were a couple of close calls for Cooke, he was able to keep the puck out of the net.