LETHBRIDGE - The Kelowna Rockets scored twice in the shootout as they beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 3-2 Wednesday at the ENMAX Centre.
The Hurricanes would open the scoring in this game. The power play, which has been very decent for Lethbridge the passed three weeks got things going against Kelowna. Landon Oslanski fired a point shot passed the Rockets' Jordan Cooke to give the Canes' an early 1-0 lead. Before the half-way point of the period, Kelowna would tie the game 1-1. Kevin Smith tipped home a nice pass at the side of the Hurricanes goal to even the score. The Canes' had a great chance late in the period to go ahead again when they went on a 5-on-3 power play for an entire two minutes, but Rockets' goalie Jordan Cooke made some key saves to keep the game tied at 1-1 after 20 minutes. Kelowna out shot the Hurricanes 13-11 in the opening period.
In the second, the Rockets would take the lead for the first time. Brett Bulmer put home a rebound of Canes' goalie Dylan Tait to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. A few minutes later the Hurricanes would get that one back. Max Ross scored his 10th goal of the season off a nice drop by from Mitch Maxwell to even the game 2-2. That's the way the period would end. The Rockets out shot the Canes' 15-7 in the second period and held the edge 28-18 through 40 minutes of play.
In the third, both teams would press to break the 2-2 tie, but there would be no offence in the final 20 minutes. For the 12th time season, the Hurricanes would have a game go into extra time to decide a winner. The Canes' out shot Kelowna 11-10 in the 3rd period. The overtime solved nothing, although both teams had some great chances to end it. So for the second game in a row, the Hurricanes would head to a shootout to settle things. The final shots after the overtime favoured Kelowna 42-33 overall. In the shootout, the Rockets scored twice and the Canes' once and Kelowna would skate away with a 3-2 victory. The loss drops the Hurricanes record to 12-13-2-5 on the season for 31 points in 32 games. The power plays in this game: Lethbridge 1 for 5 and Kelowna 0 for 4.
It was a really good hockey game. It had a bit of everything: some good hits, excellent goaltending, and nice goals. The fans got their money's worth in this one! The Canes' earn a single point, in the loss. Associate Coach Matt Kabayama said on the CJOC post-game show that "there were some good efforts in this game by our guys and some of our players really gutted things out." Rookie forward Alex Kuvaev was a healthy scratch for Lethbridge Wednesday night. Captain Mike Reddington sat the game out with the flu and Daniel Johnston remains sidelined with a shoulder injury. He'll likely return after the Christmas break. Reid Jackson left the hockey game twice after taking a couple of hard checks in this game.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes will close out the unofficial first half of the season this weekend with back-to-back games against the Medicine Hat Tigers. The two teams will play in Lethbridge Friday and in the Hat Saturday. Lethbridge has a 2-2 record versus the Tigers this year. The last meeting resulted in a 6-5 shootout loss for the Canes' this passed Sunday at the ENMAX Centre. Game time Friday evening is 7:00 (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.
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