Barzal, Eansor score for Seattle in 2-1 win at Kelowna.

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KELOWNA, B.C. — The Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the defending Western Hockey League champion Kelowna Rockets 2-1 Friday night in the opening game of their Western Conference championship series at Prospera Place.

In keeping with the recent theme of the WHL playoffs, the game took until the final moments to decide, but it took nearly two periods for the two powerhouse squads to break the ice.

A driving force behind Seattle’s offense, New York Islanders prospect Mathew Barzal opened the scoring with 1:26 remaining in the second period. Scott Eansor also scored for Seattle.

Landon Bow made 23 saves for the Thunderbirds. Seattle is 5-0 on the road in the playoffs.

Game 2 is Saturday night in Kelowna.