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WHL Final: Shorthanded goals doom Hawryluk, Wheat Kings again

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Cats prospect Jayce Hawryluk's successful WHL season ends with a thud as Rockets complete sweep.

The 2015 WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets
The 2015 WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets

The fourth game of the WHL championship series ended no differently than the first three, with the Kelowna Rockets winning the title Wednesday night. Their sweep of the Brandon Wheat Kings means that they will be playing in the MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament this season, and that the Wheat Kings' season is over.

From the Brandon Sun:

Playoff MVP Leon Draisaitl and Rourke Chartier scored short-handed goals 19 seconds apart early in the third period to break open a scoreless game and lift the Rockets to a 3-0 victory in Game 4 of the final and their first WHL championship since 2009. Jackson Whistle made 19 saves for the shutout.

As they have for much of the series, the Wheat Kings did a fine job against the Rockets’ power play, but Kelowna did its damage on with its other special-teams unit. The short-handed goals were the Rockets’ third and fourth of the last three games, including the winner in Game 2 in Brandon and the opener in Game 3 after the best-of-seven series shifted to Kelowna.

One of the Florida Panthers last prospects still playing in the CHL, Jayce Hawryluk, is now done for the year. He finishes the season with 84 points in 70 games, and a +40 rating (regular season and playoffs combined). Hawryluk scored 10 goals and added 9 assists in 16 postseason games. He is eligible for another season in the CHL, but depending on how he performs in training camp next year, could be headed elsewhere.