Well, that was an interesting one.
The game was all but over 15 minutes in. Kelowna was awarded three five-on-three power plays in a span of 1:55. The Rockets converted the first two, then scored just as the final power play expired to take a 3-0 lead. For the record, Tips general manager Garry Davidson only had the slightest complaint about the calls after the game.
It would have been easy for the Tips to fold and place the blame on the officials. But they stuck with it, and when the officials evened things up in the second period Everett capitalized to pull within one.
Then Everett had all kinds of chances to tie it. Ryan Harrison had the first late in the second period when he was awarded a penalty shot after his stick was slashed out of his hands during a breakaway. However, he didn’t make good contact on his shot attempt. Then in the third period:
– Kelowna goaltender Jackson Whistle came out of nowhere to make a lunging save on Manraj Hayer at the far post.
– Dawson Leedahl fanned at a loose puck sitting in the crease with Whistle completely out of the picture.
– Whistle made a big save on Logan Aasman at the far post. Aasman may have shot back into Whistle.
– Whistle made a Matrix-like falling-backward stop on Ty Mappin’s free look from the slot.
– Then at the very end, Reid Petryk fluttered a rebound over Whistle that looked like it was in — the goal horn even sounded for an instant — but the puck dribbled across the top of the crossbar and stayed out.
The bad news for Everett is that the Tips dropped their seventh straight. The good news was Everett created far more scoring chances than it had in a long time, and did so against a quality opponent.
Bear in mind, however, that Kelowna was playing its fourth game in five nights, and the Rockets were coming down from back-to-back losses to Portland the previous two nights in emotional games between division leaders.
If Everett doesn’t score on its five-on-three early in the second period to make it 3-1, I suspect this game goes through the motions the rest of the way.
First star: Colton Sissons, Kelowna. One goal and one assist, the Rockets’ most-dangerous player.
Second star: Myles Bell, Kelowna. Three assists, a great weapon to have at the point on the power play.
Third star: Petryk. One assist, used his body effectively and nearly tied it at the end.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Whistle. 27 saves, picked up a tired team.