LETHBRIDGE - Six 3rd period goals lead the Prince Albert Raiders to a lop-sided 9-3 win over the Hurricanes last night at the ENMAX Centre.
The Hurricanes would take the lead in this game just passed the half-way point of the first period. Alex Kuvaev scored his team-leading 9th goal of the year to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. Austin Fyten assisted on the goal in what was his first game back from injury since early October. The Raiders would get that one back. Raiders rookie Todd Fiddler scored off a great effort out in front of the Hurricanes goal to even the score 1-1. That's the way the period would end. It was a very evenly played opening 20 minutes. P.A. held the edge in shots 14-13.
In the second, the Hurricanes would get into some penalty trouble. The Canes' took three straight trips to the penalty box and the Raiders power play, which has struggled this season would make Lethbridge pay. Ryan Button hammered a point shot, beating Brandon Anderson to give the Raiders a 2-1 lead. Lethbridge tied the game shortly after when Max Ross notched his 6th of year to make it a 2-2 hockey game. Before the end of the period Prince Albert would regain the one goal lead. Tyler Paslawski put the puck passed Anderson to give the Raiders a 3-2 lead after two periods of play. Lethbridge out shot P.A. 12-11 in second, but things were even 25-25 through 40 minutes on the shot clock.
In the third, things would unravel for the Hurricanes in a big way. The Raiders would go ahead 4-2 less than 20 seconds into the period. Mark McNeill floated a shot on goal beating Anderson on the glove-hand side. That gave the visitors a big two goal cushion and was the beginning of a big period for P.A. The Raiders weren't done there. Before the period was 8 minutes old, Shane Danyluk scored his first of the season to put Prince Albert ahead 5-2. That goal was scored four-on-four. The Raiders would keep the offence going. Austin Conner batted a shot passed Brandon Anderson to give P.A. a commanding 6-2 and that would really put the nail in the Hurricanes coffin. Prince Albert would add three more goals with the power play before the game would end. Mike Winther cashed in a rebound to give the Raiders a 7-2 lead and then Antoine Corbin would score to make it 8-2 Raiders. Prince Albert would keep hammering away. Brock Balson would make it 9-2 Prince Albert. Lethbridge got one back with Russ Maxwell scored his 2nd of the season with less than a minute remaining to cut the lead to 9-3 Raiders. That's the way the game would end. Prince Albert unleashed 23 shots on the Hurricanes goal in the third period to out shoot the Canes' 48-37. The power plays finished the night like this: Prince Albert 4/11 and Lethbridge 0/4. The loss drops the Hurricanes record to 10-8-1-3.
To be honest, the Canes' had some chances early, but they looked a little disinterested at times last night, especially in the 3rd period when the Raiders scored six times. Penalties though really hurt Lethbridge. The Raiders had 11 power play chances and scored four goals. Associate Coach Matt Kabayama said on the CJOC post-game show that too many penalties, coupled with giving up too many odd-man rushes proved to be the fatal blow for the Hurricanes in this game. Let's give P.A. some credit. They played very well and were deserving of the victory. They took advantage of the chances they got. It was simply an ugly game for Lethbridge on this night. The Canes' have lost three in a row.
The Hurricanes got back one of their walking wounded last night. Austin Fyten made his return to the Canes' line-up after missing 15 games with a broken foot. Head Coach and GM Rich Preston joked on our pre-game show last night that Fyten has been like a "caged animal" and has been chomping at the bit to get back playing again. Jacob Berglund and Graham Hood remain sidelined with shoulder injuries. Preston said those two players are likely a week away. I spoke with Brody Sutter during the second intermission last night. He told me he hopes to be back in a week as well. He's been cleared for contact in practice. Sutter says he wants to get back in the line-up and hopes to "prove some people wrong". Sutter has only played three shifts this season and has been out with a shoulder injury suffered in the pre-season.
The Hurricanes will play their only other game of the week tonight when they host the Saskatoon Blades. This will already be the third of four meetings this season. Saskatoon won the first game 4-0 in Lethbridge back on October 16th. The Blades came back to beat the Hurricanes in a shootout 4-3 in Saskatoon a week later. After tonight, the Hurricanes and Blades won't meet each other again until the first weekend in February. Interesting to note that the Canes' have yet to play a few teams in the Eastern Conference. Lethbridge has not faced either Red Deer, Swift Current, and Edmonton to this point, but will see two of those three teams over the course of the next week. The Canes' host Red Deer at the ENMAX Centre next Wednesday (Nov. 24) and then play three straight versus the Broncos starting with a home-and-away set next weekend (Nov. 26-27). The Hurricanes don't see Edmonton for the first time until after the Christmas break.
This blog post is brought to you by http://www.clearlylethbridge.com/.