To say the historic rivalry between the two Thompson-Okanagan teams, The Kamloops Blazers and the Kelowna Rockets means a lot to the teams would be an understatement. Although this game is only for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, it will still be another chapter in the storied history of these two teams.
Blazers captain Jermaine Loewen talked about the rivalry that he has seen first hand over the last five years. “There’s a rivalry, there have been things said and things that have happened on the ice. It’s always good to play them because they bring intensity and they know it’s going to be a battle. We want to get the last straw against them.” Loewen continued talking about how he plans to lead the way “It’s about leading by example, going out there and working hard. I’m going to give it all I got, and not leave anything on the table.”
To say the matchups between these two teams have been tight this year would be a massive understatement. Pretty much everything about these two teams is a draw.
They have identical records of 28-32-6-2 for 64 points and eight of the ten games they played against each other this year were decided by two goals or less including three that went into extra time.
Loewen knows it will be the little things that are going to give the home side the advantage.
“We need to stick with our game plan for 60 minutes. It’s a simple cliche thing, but I think the last six games we have played really good games.”
These winner take-all games are rare in the WHL. There have only ever been six played before, five of which have been won by the road team.
Zane Franklin, who has the most playoff experience on the Kamloops Blazers squad thinks this type of game is unique, but maybe it’s a good thing.
“Maybe it’s a little different, I also think it might be a positive. It’s a Game 7 and it’s like you battled all series to be in that spot. It’s going to be fun with a lot of energy in the building so we will just use that to our advantage.”
The Blazers have the only player in the game to have actually been involved in a Tie-Breaker game. Kobe Mohr played on the Edmonton Oil Kings in the 2015-16 season when they finished tied with the Medicine Hat Tigers for the final playoff spot in the East.
Mohr didn’t see the ice in that game, but being part of it could prove to be invaluable.
It looks like the Sandman Centre is completely sold out at the time of publishing, so if you weren’t part of the lucky group of people to acquire tickets you can watch completely FREE on WHL Live. Click here to register! The promo code is: WHLTiebreak19
— The WHL (@TheWHL) March 18, 2019
Kamloops 2 @ Kelowna 1 (Mar 9 2019) Final
Kelowna 1 @ Kamloops 2 (Mar 8 2019) Final SO
Kamloops 0 @ Kelowna 2 (Feb 23 2019) Final
Kelowna 4 @ Kamloops 1 (Feb 9 2019) Final
Kamloops 1 @ Kelowna 2 (Feb 2 2019) Final OT
Kelowna 3 @ Kamloops 4 (Jan 5 2019) Final
Kamloops 1 @ Kelowna 2 (Dec 29 2018) Final
Kelowna 2 @ Kamloops 3 (Dec 28 2018) Final OT
Kamloops 3 @ Kelowna 1 (Sep 22 2018) Final
Kelowna 1 @ Kamloops 4 (Sep 21 2018) Final