Lethbridge Hurricanes (2-2-0-0) vs. Kelowna Rockets (4-2-0-0)
Tyler Wong scored two goals in the loss for the Hurricanes picking up his fourth and fifth goals of the season in the losing cause while Justin Gutierrez added the other.
The Rockets jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Tyson Baillie scored his league-leading sixth goal of the season at the 8:10 mark while Ryan Vandervlis was in the penalty box. The Hurricanes failed to score in the first period but had multiple great scoring chances including a Ryley Lindgren shorthanded breakaway but couldn’t solve goaltender Jackson Whistle. Shots were tied 12-12 in the first period.
Two quick goals by Kelowna made it 3-0 Rockets just 4:02 into the second period. Justin Kirkland scored his third of the season on a two-on-one just 2 minutes into the second period. Another two-on-one produced Gage Quinney’s first of two on the night just 2:02 later as the Rockets led by a field goal. After a time out call by Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio, the ‘Canes began to work their way back into the game with more good looks. Wong broke through getting the Hurricanes on the board with a power play goal at the 14:24 mark – Brayden Burke and Ryley Lindgren picked up the assists on the play. Another power play goal just 4:26 later by Gutierrez cut the lead to 3-2; Kord Pankewicz and Arvin Atwal had the assists on the ‘Canes second goal of the night. A pair of breakaways in the final minute and a half, one by Wong and one by Carter Folk, were both stopped by Whistle as the Rockets led 3-2 after forty minutes. Shots in the second were 18-9 for the Hurricanes.
Quinney scored his second of the night on yet another power play at the 8:06 mark to restore the Kelowna two-goal lead. Just twenty seconds later, Dillon Dube scored on another two-on-one to make it 5-2 and spelling the end of the night of Stuart Skinner who allowed five goals on 25 shots. Jayden Sittler came in to mop up and allowed one goal on eight shots he faced. Wong potted his second of the night, and fifth of the season, as he scored a shorthanded marker with 7:53 left in the period. Tomas Soustal dropped a dagger with 2:41 left in the game making the score 6-3 and that was how it ended.
The Hurricanes, despite the loss, outshot the Rockets 42-33 on the night and had numerous quality scoring chances but Whistle was sharp in the Kelowna goal. Both the Hurricanes and Rockets went 2/2 on the power play.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Rockets – #1 Jackson Whistle – (39 saves)
2) Rockets – #24 Tyson Baillie – (1 goal, 2 assists)
3) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – (2 goals)
The Hurricanes have Monday off before they host the Red Deer Rebels at the ENMAX Centre in a rare Tuesday night affair in the first of six meetings on the season against the 2016 Memorial Cup hosts.