Jackson Whistle tasted defeat for the first time this season, and the Kelowna Rockets came out on the losing end for the first time in a long time.
Coming off a near-perfect November and riding a five-game winning streak, Kelowna fell 4-2 to the host Seattle Thunderbirds in WHL action at Kent, Wash., on Saturday.
The Rockets (17-9-1-1) hadn't lost since suffering consecutive 3-2 road setbacks to the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash., on Nov. 16-17, while Whistle's numbers also took a hit, having been a perfect 6-0-0-0 on the season prior to Saturday's start.
All this, after Kelowna extended its home winning streak to 10 games - one shy of the franchise record - with Friday's 3-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors at Prospera Place. That result pushed Kelowna's record for the month of November to 9-2-0-0, its only blemishes coming against Tri-City, which the Rockets avenged with Wednesday's 3-2 home win over the Americans.
Kelowna hasn't lost at Prospera Place since Oct. 10 and is 11-2-0-0 overall there this season. That is the longest run of home success since the club won 11 in a row from Nov. 9, 2005 to Jan. 7, 2006.
The state of Washington has proven more difficult, however, with Kelowna starting December off on a losing note there.
At Kent, the Thunderbirds (13-13-1-0) raced out to a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes. Then, after Kelowna rallied to draw even midway through the third period on goals from Rourke Chartier and Myles Bell, Seattle responded with two more to seal the deal.
"We found our way back into the game, but unfortunately we made a couple mistakes once we tied it up and Seattle capitalized on the opportunities," said Rockets head coach Ryan Huska, whose club outshot the T-birds 39-31, including 18-9 in the final frame.
Kelowna was also playing shorthanded, minus its captain and first-line centre Colton Sissons, who was hurt in Friday's victory and is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Also sitting out Saturday was winger Carter Rigby, who was serving a one-game suspension for an altercation at the end of Friday's tilt.
"He's our leader and our key player, so hopefully we get him back in our lineup soon," Huska said of Sissons.