SWIFT CURRENT, SK. - Two power play goals, including one in overtime lifted the Swift Current Broncos to a 3-2 win over the Hurricanes Wednesday night.
The Hurricanes would get things started offensively in this game. A bad giveaway by a Broncos defenceman at his own blue line turned into a goal by the Hurricanes. Mitch Maxwell picked off the pass and fired a shot off the crossbar and passed Mark Friesen to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. It was Maxwell's 9th goal of this WHL season. Both teams kept pressing the other as the period moved on, but that would be the only goal through 20 minutes of play. Swift Current out shot the Canes' 12-8 in the first period.
In the second, the Broncos would even the score on a power play. Adam Lowry cashed in a back-hander passed Brandon Anderson to tie the game 1-1 just passed the mid-way point of the period. Just like in the first period, both teams would look to take the lead but that's all we would see in the way of goals in the period. The Broncos out shot Lethbridge 10-9 and held the edge 22-17 following 40 minutes of play.
In the third, Swift Current would take lead for the first time. Justin Dowling's low shot beat Brandon Anderson on the short side with just over 8 minutes to go in the period to give the Broncos a 2-1 lead. The Hurricanes would press for the tying goal late and would get it. Brody Sutter's shot was stopped by Friesen, but Neil Tarnasky was there to put home the rebound for his second goal in as many games to even the score at 2-2. Not too long after that, the Hurricanes would take a penalty that would prove costly. Tarnasky was called for hitting from behind on Swift Current's Kyle Verdino. He was given five minutes and a game. The Broncos were unable to score on that in regulation, but just over a minute into overtime Dustin Dowling wired a shot over the blocker of Anderson and that would turn out to be the game winner. The Hurricanes earn a single point, but the Broncos end up winning all three in this mini-series over the past six nights. Swift Current out shot Lethbridge 39-25 on the night. The power plays were even: Lethbridge went 0 for 7 while the Broncos finished the game 2 for 7 and that ultimately was the difference.
With the loss the Hurricanes fall to 11-11-2-3 on the season and have 27 points in 27 games. Lethbridge has one win in it's past 8 games as they get set for a stretch of 6 straight games at home over the next two weeks. This was also the 10th time this year that the Hurricanes have gone into either overtime or a shootout to settle the game. Really this game could've went either way. It was a one goal contest for pretty much the entire game. Both goalies played exceptionally well , but it was special teams that once again decided the outcome. Swift Current's power play scored twice on seven chances while the Hurricanes went 0 for 7 on the power play. The officiating was very even for both teams I thought. Brandan Anderson had strong game forLethbridge and Friesen was good again for Swift Current. These two teams will meet one last time on January 1st, 2011 in Lethbridge.
Brody Sutter played his first full game of the season last night. He had managed to play only three shifts of a game about a month ago after re-injuring his shoulder and made his return versus the Broncos. I thought he looked pretty good for his first entire game of the season and was given a regular shift, centering a line with Tarnasky and Reners. He also recorded an assist on Tarnasky's goal. Michael Sofillas and Graham Hood are listed getting close to returning too and Reid Jackson is still sidelined with a head injury and is also listed as day-to-day.
The Hurricanes will play host to the Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre. It'll be the 3rd meeting of the season between the teams. The Canes' won in a shootout in P.A. in October and the Raiders score six-third period goals in a 9-3 victory in Lethbridge a couple of weeks ago. The Hurricanes will be looking for some revenge in this game as they let things get away in that last meeting in Lethbridge which turned out to be a lop-sided win in favour of Prince Albert. This will also be the Hurricanes 15th annual Teddy Bear Toss game. Fans coming to the game Saturday are encouraged to bring a stuffed toy and when the Hurricanes score their first goal, those toys will be thrown onto the ice, collected and then delivered to various charities throughout the Christmas season.
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