The Seattle Thunderbirds have put a temporary halt to the Kelowna Rockets’ climb up the WHL’s BC Division standings.
Ryan Gropp scored a hat-trick and Matt Barzal added four assists as the T’Birds downed the Rockets 5-3 Saturday night at the ShoWare Centre in Kent, Wash.
It ended a three-game winning streak for the Rockets (36-21-5-0) who, a night earlier, blasted the Kamloops Blazers 8-2.
Penalties hindered the Rockets who yielded four power play goals on nine Seattle opportunities.
Dillon Dube, Reid Gardiner and Kyle Topping scored for the Rockets who outshot Seattle 39-24.
The Rockets remain three points back of Kamloops for second spot in the BC Division, holding two games in hand on the Blazers.
Kelowna closes out its three-game, three-day road trip Sunday in Spokane against the Chiefs.