It didn't take long for Luke Gordon to get the chance to play with his brother, Keaton, but the game probably didn't turn out like the two had hoped.
The Kamloops Storm fell to the North Okanagan Knights 5-3 at McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre on Friday, as its five-game KIJHL winning streak came to an end.
"Obviously no one's going to go undefeated for a whole season, they don't even do it in football," said head coach Ed Patterson following the game. "We had tons of chances, their goalie played great. I'm sure (Kamloops goaltender) Kyle (Michalovsky) would like to have a couple back, that's hockey."
The Storm is dealing with a number of injuries, with forward Jason Anderson and defencemen Stefan Wood and Myles Jarvis Robinson unavailable Friday. Forwards Brett Watkinson and Ian Chrystal had to move back to defence for the game and 16-year-old forward Keaton Gordon was called up from the major-midget Thompson Blazers for the weekend.
"It is what it is," Patterson said. "It's adversity the team has to go though in a season and I'd rather we go through it early to make us stronger right now."
North Okanagan started the scoring midway through the first period, taking advantage of the Storm's depleted defence corps to go ahead 1-0. Morgan Johnston came over the blue-line and, dragging the puck across his body, caused Watkinson to lose his footing and fall - Johnston wristed the puck over the glove of Michalovsky.
The Knights later extended their lead to two goals, just 1:24 into the second period on a mistake from Michalovsky. The Storm goalie went behind the net and tried to clear the puck around the boards - instead, the shot hit the chest of North Okanagan's Ryan Kelm. Kelm gained control and fired the puck into the net before Michalovsky had a chance to recover.
Down 2-0, the Storm got on the board five minutes later, scoring on the power play to draw within one. Josh Rasmussen just missed a long lead pass, but had the puck deposited right onto his stick by a North Okanagan defender on the clearing attempt. He made no mistake, putting it past goalie Zach Dyment. Exactly two minutes later, with the Storm on the power play, Mark Dumont, playing in his first game since returning from injury, fired a point shot that Felix Larouche deflected at the top of the circle and past Dyment to make it 2-2.
That was as good as it got for the Storm. North Okanagan scored on the power play with just under two minutes left in the second and added another that appeared to go off the stick of Luke Gordon en route to the net.
Kamloops Max James scored, again on the powerplay, to make it 4-3 but a North Okanagan rush after a Storm chance led to a goal, sealing the game up 5-3.
The Storm is now 5-1-0-0 on the season.
"No one ever quit, effort's always there," Patterson said. "The guys stuck with it. The thing I like is the depth of our team, the energy we bring, we haven't had puck-luck . . . we're moving in the right direction so there's no need be worried right now"
For the Gordon brothers, it was their first opportunity to play together and it happened at home. Keaton tried out for the Storm this season but elected to join the Blazers instead. The Storm called Keaton up to help fill in at forward for the players who have been moved back to defence. Patterson said following the game that Keaton will be in the lineup tonight as well.
"It's always cool to play with him, that was the first time in a regular-season game," Luke said. "It was quite the experience."
The Storm is scheduled to play the Golden Rockets tonight, 7 o'clock, at the McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre.
"Some nights you just don't get the puck luck and that was tonight," Luke said. "If we keep working hard, usually things always turn out for people who do that."
Anthony Ruggiero, Johnston and Dryden Profeit had the other North Okanagan goals.
WEATHER WATCH: The Storm was 2-for-7 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill Friday. It also had one shorthanded goal. . . . Brock Balson and Luke Gordon have been named co-captains of the Kamloops Storm for the 2013-14 season, with Rasmussen and Daniel Buchanan acting as alternate captains. Spencer Schoech and Rourke O'Briain will also be alternates, alternating the duties at home and on the road. . . . North Okanagan outshot Kamloops 35-28. . . . Former Storm forward Ryan Keis has signed with the Melfort Mustangs of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Anthony Collins, another former forward with the Storm, has signed with South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL. Collins also played for the TRU WolfPack and spent parts of three seasons in the BCHL. He recently wrapped up a stint with the Mississippi Surge of the Southern Professional Hockey League.