Rockets fined for “negative comments” about Memorial Cup refs, CHL says

Image Credit: Aaron Bell/CHL Images

QUEBEC CITY, Que. – Someone in the Kelowna Rockets organization didn’t like the job the referees did in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Quebec Remparts at the Memorial Cup at the Pepsi Colisee in Quebec City.

The Canadian Hockey League has fined the Rockets $500 for “negative comments regarding officiating” made to a member of the League’s Hockey Operations Department, according to a CHL tweet.

They did not specify which member of the team's brass made the comments.

Kelowna had 44 penalty minutes on 10 infractions. The Remparts were on the power play five times, but didn't score.

It was the referees' decision to hand 10-minute misconducts to star Leon Draisaitl and Quebec centre Marc-Olivier Roy for a scuffle at the end of the second period that seemed to anger the Rockets. It took away Kelowna's top scoring threat for an extended period at a time they were trying to get back a game they trailed 2-1.

Neither coach Dan Lambert nor Draisaitl criticized the referees in post-game media interviews. They spoke of adapting to a different approach to officiating than they are used to in the Western Hockey League and the need to be more disciplined in future games.

"You can't take those penalties and that's on me as well," Draisaitl said. "The refs are a little different here and that's how it is.”

"I'm not going to comment on anything else in that, but we have to be more disciplined."

The Rockets play their second game of the four-team tournament Monday against the Rimouski Oceanic.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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