MEDICINE HAT - Three goals in the second period proved to be the difference as Medicine Hat downed the Hurricanes 5-3 Saturday night.
The Medicine Hat Tigers opened the scoring in this game. Linden Vey scored short-handed to give the home side a 1-0 lead. The Canes' were on a four minute power play at the time after Phil Tot was nailed from behind by the Tigers' Kale Kessey who was given double-minor for the hit. Tot, who was down on the ice for about five minutes was escorted off by a couple of his teammates and did not return. The Canes' best chance came when Brody Sutter put a shot of the crossbar and out of play. The Tigers out shot Lethbridge 12-7 in the opening period.
In the second, the Canes' would tie the game at 1-1. Brody Sutter scored his 2nd of the season just 42 seconds into the period to even the score. After that though , the Hurricanes would get into some serious penalty trouble. The Canes' would be assessed back-to-back-to-back-to-back penalties. Lethbridge killed off a 5-on-3 for two straight minutes, but Jayce Coyle scored on the next Tigers' power play to give Medicine Hat a 2-1 lead. Lethbridge would get another penalty just after that and managed to kill that one off too. Before the period was half old, Linden Vey would fire a shot upstairs on Dylan Tait to give Medicine Hat a 3-1 lead. Just over a minute later, Curtis Valk would score to make it 4-1 Tigers after 40 minutes of play. Tait was pulled after that 4th goal and replaced by Brandon Anderson. Medicine Hat out shot the Canes' 17-8 in the period and held the edge in that department 29-15 after two periods.
In the third, he Canes' would battle back to make for a very interesting finish. Lethbridge would cut the Tigers lead in half early. Graham Hood tipped home a Landon Oslanski point shot to make it 4-2 Medicine Hat. That was Hood's 7th of the season. A few minutes later the Canes' would get another one. Tyler Kizuik scored his 1st goal of the season. That cut the Tigers lead to 4-3. Lethbridge had some great chances to tie the game, but Jayce Coyle would score his second of the game into an empty net to seal it 5-3 for Medicine Hat. It was a strong push the Canes' in the final period, but they would fall short again. The Canes' go into the Christmas break three game below the .500 mark with a record of 12-15-2-5 and for the first time this season the Hurricanes are on the outside looking in when it comes to a playoff spot. The Hurricanes have just two wins in their passed 13 games.
The Hurricanes are now off until December 27th when they travel to Edmonton to take on the Oil Kings. It'll be the first meeting of the season between these two Central Division teams. The WHL Christmas break is now here and hopefully a week off with family and friends will give the Canes' a chance to re-energize and re-focus heading into the second half of the season. It will also give the team an opportunity to rest up any of the walking wounded. Interesting to note that through 34 games played this season, half of the Hurricanes games have been decided by just a single goal. Lethbridge is 7 and 10 in those one goal games. 7 of the Hurricanes 10 losses by one goal have come in either overtime or a shootout.
I'll be taking some time off from the blog over the next few days as my family gets ready for Christmas. I likely won't be posting again until game day on the 27th. On behalf of everyone at 94.1 CJOC and the entire Lethbridge Hurricanes family, thanks for taking the time to listen to our broadcasts throughout the year and read this blog. Here's to a good second half of the season for the Hurricanes! Have a wonderful, safe, and blessed Christmas!
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