Sunday, 6 March 2011

Rockets Beat Hurricanes 5-3

KELOWNA, BC - Three power play goals proved to be the difference as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-3 Saturday night.

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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  1. I got into the truck and turned on the game after the PBR and heard the last 5 minutes or so and im still livid over that brutal spear call and all the tirads after with coach Preston and all the other stuff. Wow the linesmen cost us the game jeeze and theres always two sides to a story and the rocket fans and there players most of done something more to tick the hole team off. I dont blame the boys in the playoff hunt and to have it come down to this is a joke. And Rocket and Canes fans are really getting heated on the forums and on facebook over the whl site I dont blame us:)

  2. Listened to the game and did not see it. My main question is. Why is there always some controversy in games in which Devin Klein is a ref?

    It seems that the officials in the WHL have more influence on the game of hockey than they should.

    Now I am not blaming the officials for everything. We did have a couple of long powerplays that were eliminated because of dum penalties taken by a Cane.

    Let us hope that by Wednesday the Canes have forgotten about the debacle in Kelowna and come out play hard and give Moose Jaw a lesson.

  3. Rich Preston made YouTube last night. I am upset with Kelowna's coverage of the meltdown. They did not give it justice. Why cut away to show the next game and leave the ice. Have to agree with Rich Preston though Klein is a poor ref how should not even be doing Atom games.

  4. I loved the fact that Preston went nuts. I have a new found hope and Pride for being a hurricanes fan. I have to agree, every time Klein Refs there seems to be problems, I suggest to all upset fans to email the whl, at least then they might notice the dumbest ref in all the league is in fact Klein.

    Let's get Klein Noticed if that's what he wants.

  5. I thought the 2 referee system was to eliminate it from getting to this. The 2 refs I believe position themselves at opposite corners of the ice, so they see all the play and players between them. For one of the referees not seeing the spear, I question the severity of it, if it happened, to be more than a 2 minute penalty that linesman are unable no call.

  6. as one would expect heres the video of last night from Rich Preston...

  7. Take a Read of the Rockets broadcasters blog at has some intresting items.

  8. Pat,
    Do you think Rich will get suspended or just fined? I hope he is not suspended. If anyone doubted his passion for the game or his desire to win they shouldn't. He is a competitor...Proud to be a Canes fan!

  9. Where is everyone from the "Preston never shows any emotion!!11!" crowd?

  10. Well I would hope only a fine at most, but you never know. It really is too bad that game had to end the way it did. That was a phantom call in my opinion. Not one person I've spoken to who was the game or watched it on the webcast ever saw the alleged spear.

  11. There MUST at least be a player on the Kelowna team that knows what call the linesman was talking about?! How could the Kelowna Head Coach himself in a post-game interview not even know what the call was?? Did none of his players come back to the bench with a gaping flesh wound or broken stick protruding from his abdomen??

    I have often been critical of RP for decisions he has made before and during games this year, but today I have to raise my glass. I hope the Hurricane's organization supports him when the fines and suspensions are conveyed next week by the league.

    My respect for Rich Preston just went through the roof (UP, if not obvious) because of the message he has sent to the league and its "officals" in this game.

    Preston's was the most deliberate, well-executed, purposeful, calm, "objection" that I have ever "witnessed" (on you-tube).

    I was also surprised by the lack of emotion displayed by the players (on both teams). There was hardly a grin on either bench, and I would have expected more fighting to ensue in the moments that followed.

    I think that both sides realized that their third period efforts were in vain, as the outcome of this game had already been decided by the true stars of the WHL; the officials lead by its ultimate self-proclaimed superstar, DEVIN KLEIN. - Richie.

  12. I too watched the video of Preston's demeanour with the ref at the bench. He was calm, cool and certainly respectful. As the commentator said, he did not even slam the door when he left.

    What continues to be one of the most frustrating things about this league are the huge inflated egos of the officials. Klein has to be the center of attention. Does he not know that the best referees are the ones that when you leave a game you ask yourself as a fan, "who was the ref tonight?".

    I wonder if Klein has any more Lethbridge assignments before the season ends.

    The league apparently apologised to Preston for that messed up 5 minute major to a Hurricane for interference a couple of weeks ago, I wonder if they are going to apologize to Preston for this latest mess; that is before they fine/suspend him.

    Good on Rich for showing emotion and letting his players know that he has their backs!


  13. I remember watching Preston lose his cool at a Pats-Warriors game years ago. Doesn't look like much has changed.

    And unfortunately for the 'Canes this culture has trickled down to the players as well.

    Lethbridge has some talent. But it seems like more energy was wasted on something in the past than focussing on how to respond.

    Case in point of this culture trickling down...the 'Canes goalie would take off his mask between plays and get into it with the home teams fans at the glass.

    When the Kelowna fans got on this goalie he raised his arms to egg them on.

    The very next play Wudrich rips a shot past him in the slot.

    Does he make that save if he's not focussed on the fans? Who knows? Fact is he puts energy and attention to what's going on in the crowd rather than on the ice.


  14. Even when preston finally shows some emotion..he still doesn't go crazy enough for bet is they won't make the playoffs

  15. The disallowed call didnt determine the final outcome.It hurt Lethbridges chance to tie it, but was not the only reason why they lost.The problem with RP and his sidekick kabyama is they are always going after all 4 officials.They tuned him out in November.When you bi*** and whine about everything, the impact becomes less than negative.His entire team is very undisciplined.Look at their PIM totals, they retaliate all the time and players go off on officials more than any other team in the league.It is a major source of distraction and is part of the reason for their troubles this year.

  16. Thanks for the photo Pat!
    Great stuff!