It was a night of old time hockey Saturday at Western Financial Place, but the result was not one the Kootenay ICE had hoped for.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes handed Kootenay an 8-4 defeat in front of a Cranbrook crowd in a contest that featured plenty of rough stuff.
The Hurricanes were the first to reach the scoreboard at 6:27 of the opening frame when Nick Henry sniped a wrist shot from the left circle to beat ICE keeper Duncan McGovern.
Kootenay would bounce back with two quick power play goals from Brad Ginnell and Jagger White.
ICE forward Peyton Krebs assisted on both goals, picking up his 100th career WHL point on the latter helper.
The ICE seemed to have the game well under control until Lethbridge potted three goals in less than 1:30 to take a 4-2 lead into the second period.
Tempers began to flare in the middle stanza.
Lethbridge had increased their lead to 5-2 midway through the second period when a post-whistle scrum led to multiple penalties and a fight between Kootenay defender Jordan Chudley and Hurricanes forward Keltie Jeri-Leon.
The game remained chippy and reached a boiling point after a controversial hit by Brad Ginnell on Hurricanes captain Jordy Bellerieve lead to a 5:00 head contact major penalty and game misconduct, while drawing the ire of the Lethbridge bench.
The Hurricanes scored twice in 45 seconds to begin the five minute power play and took a 7-3 lead into the third period.
The final frame continued to produce physicality with plenty of scrums between the whistles and power play opportunities traded on both sides.
The game’s second slobber-knocker took place at the 14:46 mark between Kootenay’s Davis Murray and Lethbridge’s Koletrane Wilson after a series of scrums and contact on ICE captain Peyton Krebs which ended his game.
Both teams traded goals in the third with Lethbridge skating to an 8-4 victory.
ICE coach James Patrick says the team had trouble recovering from Lethbridge’s quick flurries of offense in the first and second periods.
“For me that was the two keys, the last four minutes of the first period and the penalty killing,” Patrick said, with the latter point referring to the five minute major penalty incurred towards the end of the second frame.
Multiple Hurricanes skaters were able to pad their stats.
Forwad Nick Henry ended the game with 1G-3A, Jake Leschyshin was credited with 3G-2A while Jordy Bellerieve added 4 assists.
Kootenay was outshot 42-35.
The ICE finished 3/8 on the power play and 0/3 on the penalty kill.
The loss was Kootenay’s third in a row.
They return to action Monday afternoon for a New Years Eve showdown in Cranbrook versus the Victoria Royals