KELOWNA, BC - The Kelowna Rockets scored four times in the first 10 minutes of the 3rd period and beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-0 Saturday night.
Not a bad first period for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The CHL-leading Kelowna Rockets opened the scoring this game on a Hurricanes turnover. Goalie Jonny Hogue came out to play the puck behind his goal, when he fanned on the clearing attempt. The puck went out in front and it was cashed in by Justin Kirkland. That made it 1-0 Rockets. Hogue bounced back extremely well after that goal and shut the door for the rest of the period. The Canes had a couple of decent chances as well, but the game remained 1-0 Rockets after 20 minutes of play. The shots on goal favoured the Rockets 16-8.
In the second, the Hurricanes would get a couple of fantastic chances, including a shorthanded breakaway, but Jackson Whistle came up with some big stops to keep the Rockets in the lead. On the other side of the ice Jonny Hogue kept up his stellar play, shutting the door and through 40 minutes that one goal by Kelowna back in the first period held up as the Rockets stayed ahead 1-0. The shots on goal favoured Kelowna 29-19.
In the third, the Rockets blew the game wide open with four goals in a span of 9:54. Myles Bell, Marek Tvrdon, Rourke Chartier, and Tyson Baillie all scored for the number one ranked Rockets and before the 3rd period was 10 minutes old, Kelowna had taken a 5-0 lead. The Canes pushed to try and break the shut out bid for Jackson Whistle, but he would shut the door and the Canes would fall 5-0. It's the second game in a row the Canes have been shut out. They were out scored 27-3 on this four game BC road trip. Kelowna out shot the Hurricanes 49-26. Lethbridge went 0/2 on the power play and Kelowna 0/5. The Canes also lost Reid Duke to what appears to be an injury to his arm. He blocked a shot in the second period and left the ice and did not return. Assistant Coach Mike Craig said on the post game show that Duke went to hospital to be looked at. The Canes are also without defenceman Nick Walters who was injured the previous game in Vancouver.
The Hurricanes are back in southern Alberta for a brief period this coming week with a pair of games on what is a much lighter schedule for a change. The Canes play host to the visiting Prince Albert Raiders Wednesday night (Jan. 29). This will be the final meeting of the season between the two clubs, with PA winning all but one of the 5 match-ups so far. Game time is 7:00 pm MST. The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. The Canes will then finish off the month of January Friday (Jan. 31) with another game on the road, this time in Red Deer against the Rebels. Like the Raiders, the Rebels hold a 4 games to one edge in the regular season series. I will be away for both those games as my News Director's job takes me to Vancouver for CRTC hearings with my company. So with me being away, Fred Jack will be calling the play-by-play against PA at home and Paul Kingsmith from Global TV has kindly accepted the invitation to fill in for me in Red Deer Friday. After next week's games, the Hurricanes will officially hit the three quarter point in the season and kick off February with a home date on Wednesday (Feb. 5) vs. Saskatoon. I'll be back to broadcast that game and the rest of the season from that point on. A big thanks to Fred and Paul for filling in for me while I'm gone for other radio station business.