Mar 2, 2013 / 10:30 pm
Tyrell Goulbourne registered his first career Western Hockey League hat-trick, then for good measure, added one more leading the Kelowna Rockets to an easy 7-1 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes Saturday night.
It's the first four goal effort by a Rocket in a regular season game since Stefan Novotny scored four times to open up the 2009-2010 regular season.
Ironically, after Novotny was traded that season, Goulbourne wore the same number nine when he was called up as a 16-year-old for five games just after Christmas.
Goulbourne says he thinks his last hat-trick came way back in pee wee or bantam.
Colton Heffley did all the work on the first goal. His shot the bottom of the right circle glanced off Ty Rimmer's pad right to Goulbourne who deposited his 10th of the year into the empty net.
He completed 'trick' with goals two and three four minutes apart early in the second.
"On the second one it was a great job by (Cody) Fowlie to get the puck through and I just looked up and shot it when I got it and thankfully it went in," says Goulbourne.
"The third one I kind of tricked the D-man. I was the one who called for it over and I picked his pocket. I didn't give up on it after he saved the first one which he made a great save on and I just tried to get it over his pad."
He completed the scoring midway through the third when his shot from the slot cleanly beat Christopher Tai who had replaced Rimmer in the Lethbridge net.
Goulbourne had chances for five or six but was thwarted by Tai late in the game.
"Nights like this I was just in the right spot at the right time. After I got the first two I was confident I would get a couple more," says Goulbourne.
"I still tried to play my game, I didn't look for them but I knew if I played the way I was playing I was going to."
Fowlie had three assists while Heffley chipped in with a pair of helpers as the line accounted for nine scoring points on the night.
Dylen McKinlay with his third in two games, Ryan Olsen and Myles Bell also scored.
The Rockets were a little slow out of the gate but once they got rolling they were too much for the over-matched Hurricanes.
"I thought the first period was okay but I didn't like that we didn't have a net presence in the first period," says head coach Ryan Huska.
"I thought we were moving the puck well and I thought that set us up for a pretty good night."
Kelowna led 2-1 after one then blew the game open with four unanswered goals in the middle frame.
Goulbourne's first was his 10th of the year - becoming the 13th Rocket to hit double digits in goals this season.
"That's why we have success this year. We don't have to rely on one or two guys," says Huska.
"If our so-called number one line is not generating for us we usually have other lines that have stepped up."
Jackson Whistle turned aside 25 shots to earn the win Saturday.
Saturday's win allowed the Rockets to remain five points up on Kamloops in the battle for top spot in the BC Division.
The two teams will hook up Sunday night in Kamloops in the first of three games between the two teams over the next seven days.
The Rockets have seven games remaining in the regular season while the Blazers have six.
Kelowna also pulled to within nine points of league leading Portland after the Winterhawks were upset 4-2 in Everett.
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