SWIFT CURRENT, SK. - A late goal in the first period and one early in the second lifted the Broncos to a 4-2 win over the Hurricanes Friday night.
It was a pretty close game for the first 10 minutes with both teams getting chances, but it would be the Hurricanes who would open the scoring in this one. Mitch Maxwell scored his 8th of the year on a delayed penalty call to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. It looked like perhaps that's the way the period would end, but with 20 seconds left, Jordan Peddle's low shot beat Dylan Tait between the legs to even the score 1-1 after one period of play. Swift Current out shot Lethbridge 12-8.
In the second, the Broncos would jump into their first lead of the game. Graeme Craig lifted a point shot passed Tait just a couple of minutes into the period to give the home team a 2-1 lead. The Broncos nearly had a couple more, but the Hurricanes got a few good breaks and Dylan Tait made some solid stops to keep this a one goal game in favour of the Broncos after 40 minutes of play. It appears that late goal in the first provided a spark for the Broncos as they out shot Lethbridge 20-10 in the second period and held the edge 32-18 after two periods.
In the third, the Hurricanes would press to tie the game. Phil Tot's shot off the left wall was stopped by Broncos goalie Mark Friesen, but Austin Fyten was johnny-on-the-spot to put home the rebound for his 9th goal of the year, tying the game at 2-2. Just over a minute later though, Swift Current would get that back on kind of a fluky play. Brad Hoban shot the puck from behind the Hurricanes net, banking it off the pad of Tait and in. That turned out to be the game winner. Adam Lowry would put on into an empty net with a few seconds to go to make the final 4-2 Swift Current. Both teams would end up with 15 shots each in the final period, but Swift Current would end up out shooting Lethbridge on this night 47-33. The power plays looked like this: Broncos 0 for 5 and the Hurricanes 0 for 1. The loss drops the Hurricanes record to 11-10-1-3 on the season and they now trail the Broncos by two points in the Eastern Conference standings, but Lethbridge still has three games in hand.
I thought the key moment in this game was that late goal by Swift Current in the period. That goal tied the game 1-1 and really seemed to provide a spark for the Broncos. As it's been said many times, late goals in period can be huge motivators for the teams that score them. I think that was the case Friday. The Hurricanes penalty killers were once again fantastic and they had to be. They killed off all five Swift Current power plays, most of which looked very dangerous despite not being able to score. It wasn't a bad effort by the Canes'. They opened the scoring for the 4th game in a row, but found themselves battling from behind to try and win a game. They will need to stay out the penalty box on Saturday night when these teams meet for the rematch. The Broncos have a very good, quick moving power play.
The Hurricanes had two players scratched last night due to injuries. Reid Jackson was out of the line-up after he was hit hard in the Red Deer game the other night when he got his bell rung. No penalty was called against the Rebels on that play, but it was certainly a hit that Fred and I thought warranted a call. As for Sofillas, he suffered a bump to the head and was forced to sit the Swift Current game out too. Brody Sutter took the warm-up last night, but didn't play. He's hoping to set some game action very soon. The Hurricanes called up Defenceman Adam Henry from Manitoba to help fill the void with Jackson injured.
Teddy Bear Toss Coming Next Week
The 15th annual Teddy Bear toss takes place next Saturday night December 4th when the Hurricanes host Prince Albert. All fans are encouraged to bring a stuffed toy to that game and when the Canes' score their first goal, you asked to throw the toys onto the ice. All the toys collected will go to some very worthy causes and local charities. Canadian Tire is offering special Teddy Bear Toss toys for $12.99 each. That price includes the stuffed toy and a ticket to next Saturday night's game.
The Hurricanes will play game two of this three game set against Swift Current Saturday (Nov. 27) back at the ENMAX Centre. Game time is 7:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.
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