LETHBRIDGE - Two goals in the first period and two more in the third helped the Chilliwack Bruins to a 4-3 win over the Hurricanes Friday night at the ENMAX Centre.
The Chilliwack Bruins potent power play would open the scoring in this game. Ryan Howse hammered a shot passed Brandon Anderson just a few minutes into the game to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Chilliwack would make it two-for-two on the man advantage a little later. Ryan Howse blasted a shot passed a screened Anderson for his second of the night to make it 2-0 for the visitors. Lethbridge would get one of those goal back on a power play of their own. Cam Braes scored his team-leading 12th of the season to cut the Chilliwack lead to 2-1. That was Braes' 5th goal in the passed two games. That's the way the period would end. Chilliwack held the edge in shots 10-9 after one.
In the second, the Hurricanes would battle back to tie the game 2-2. Austin Fyten ripped a low shot coming down the left wing, beating Lucas Gore to even the score early on in the period. Lethbridge would continue to turn up the heat on the Bruins and came awfully close to taking the lead several times, but that was all the offence they were able to muster up in that period. The Canes' came out guns a blazin' in the second as they out shot Chilliwack 16-7 and held the edge in shots 25-17 through 40 minutes of play.
In the third, the Bruins would take a 3-2 lead on a strange incident when two Hurricanes, Daniel Johnston and Michael Sofillas collided at the Chilliwack blueline. That turned into a 3-on-0 rush up the ice for the Bruins and they would make no mistake as Robin Soudek put the puck upstairs. That gave the Bruins a one goal lead again. Both Johnston and Sofillas made it back to the Hurricanes bench, but looked very woozy. They went off to the dressing room and didn't return. Chilliwack would then take a 4-2 lead minutes later when their power play struck again. Jamie Crooks scored on a 5-on-3 man advantage for the Bruins. The Canes' got one of those back late in the game when Mitch Maxwell scored on a penalty shot. That made it 4-3 Chilliwack, but that's as close as the Hurricanes would get in this game. For Maxwell, it was his 10th goal of the season. The loss drops the Hurricanes record to 12-13-2-3 on the season. The power plays looked like this: Chilliwack 3 for 7 and Lethbridge 2 for 5. The Hurricanes out shot the Bruins 38-26.
I talked with Head Coach and GM Rich Preston in the pre-game show about the trade with Vancouver this week. I asked him if he might be in the market to start adding a player or two after trading away two (Yadlowski & Reners) over the past few months. Preston: "Well, we've got 14 forwards now. You're always looking to make your team better. I think we probably need more depth on defence. We had to use five defencemen against Moose Jaw on Tuesday. We can put Max Ross back if we have to but he's been playing so well up front you hate to do that to a guy. I think we'll need to get some depth at defence."
Both Michael Sofillas and Reid Jackson returned to the line-up against Chilliwack. Jackson though left the game late in the first period after taking a hit behind the Hurricanes goal. Sofillas was shaken up late in the third when he collided with Johnston. Both Jackson and Sofillas have missed the passed couple of weeks nursing concussions. Johnston was hurt on that collision with Sofillas and left the game as well.
The Hurricanes next action is Sunday night when they play host to one of the hottest teams in the WHL, the rival Medicine Hat Tigers. This will be first of three games this coming week between the hockey clubs. Game time Sunday from the ENMAX Centre is 6:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 5:30. The Hurricanes have a 2-1 record versus the Tigers this season.
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