The Rockets would draw first blood in this one. Tyson Barrie put a nice back-hander by Brandon Anderson and that goal gave the home team a 1-0 lead. Just over a minute later, Kelowna would go up by a pair with a goal on the man advantage. This time Zach Franko would dump the puck over a falling Anderson and that quickly made it 2-0 Rockets. Before the end of the period, Lethbridge would get one of those back on a power play of their own. Daniel Johnston hammered a point shot by Adam Brown to cut the lead to 2-1 Rockets after 40 minutes of play. Kelowna held the edge in shots 7-5.
In the second, the Hurricanes turned up the heat. Lethbridge would end up tying up the game courtesy of Mitch Maxwell on yet another power play. Maxwell skated in and ripped a shot to the top corner, picking off the water bottle for his 19th goal of the season. That tied the game up at 2-2. Not too long after that though, the Rockets would regain their one-goal lead. Tyson Barrie was at it again. The Rockets would make it 3-2 on another man advantage as the Hurricanes were sent off for too-many men on the ice. That was the Kelowna Captain's second of the night and the Rockets would take a 3-2 lead into the dressing after 40 minutes. It was a strong period for Lethbridge as they out shot Kelowna 18-15 after two periods of play.
In the third, the Rockets would end up getting their two-goal lead back. With just over 7 minutes to go, Spencer Main would tap in the bouncing puck and that gave Kelowna a 4-2 lead. The Hurricanes thought they had made it 4-3 with three minutes left, but the goal was called back after the referee called Graham Hood for spearing. The play went to video replay and after a lengthy look the goal was called off. I asked the video replay official why and his response was the linesman saw a spear and relayed that to the officials after the Hurricanes touched the puck, which happened to be the goal by Sutter. Graham Hood was tagged with a double-minor for spearing and Brody Sutter was given a 10 minute misconduct for arguing with the ref. On the ensuing power play, Kelowna would score to make it 5-2 and that sent head coach Rich Preston into a tizzy. In frustration, he started throwing things onto ice: a clipboard, five water bottles, a Gatorade cooler, and a lid. He was given a game misconduct for that and was ejected from the game. It was not pretty finish to what was really and entertaining, back-and-forth game. The Hurricanes scored one more before the game would end. Jacob Berglund potted his 15th of season and the Rockets would go on to win 5-3. Lethbridge out shot the Rockets 31-25 on the night. Kelowna went 3 for 4 on the power play and the Hurricanes finished the game 2 for 9.
I can honestly say I've never seen Coach Preston that mad and he certainly showed his displeasure with the goal being called back. As you can see on the picture, the ice was littered with things he chucked off the bench. I don't blame him for being upset. I didn't see the spear myself and the video I viewed after the game didn't show it either. I suppose it is what it is. The officials I thought missed calls on both sides in this game to be honest, but that one still baffles me. With the loss, the Hurricanes remain tied with Prince Albert for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have six games left.
Phil Tot will be out of the line-up for the next week at least for the Hurricanes. He suffered a concussion in Kamloops on Friday night. That was the third time Tot has missed action because of a concussion this season. He was injured in Medicine Hat just before the Christmas break and also suffered a concussion during the pre-season. Reid Jackson missed his second straight game with a slight upper body injury.
The Hurricanes have six games to go in the regular season, three in the coming week. Two of those games will be at home and one on the road. The Hurricanes will host Moose Jaw Wednesday night. The Warriors have shutout the Canes' twice this season, both at the Crushed Can. The Hurricanes did beat the Warriors in early December at the ENMAX Centre. After Wednesday's game, Lethbridge will travel to Calgary Friday and then return home Saturday to host the rival Medicine Hat Tigers.
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