LETHBRIDGE - Four goals by Cam Braes propeled the Hurricanes to a 7-4 win on home ice Tuesday night over the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors.
After a scoreless first 10 minutes, the Hurricanes opened the scoring with three first period goals. First off, Mitch Maxwell stole the puck at centre ice and fed it over to Jacob Berglund. That was his 5th goal of the the season for the big Swede to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. A few minutes later the Canes' would make it 2-0 on the power play. Brody Sutter took the puck at centre and flipped it across to Cam Braes who buried it blocker-side on Moose Jaw goalie Brandon Stone. It was Braes, 8th goal of the season and his first of two in the period. Late in the first, the Hurricanes would get back-to-back 5-on-3 power plays and they would make good. Braes banged home his second of the night to give Lethbridge a 3-0 lead following 20 minutes of play. The Canes' were out shot at one point 9-2 in the period, but the final shots would favour Lethbridge 13-11 after one.
In the second, the Warriors would make a goaltending change. Brandon Stone was pulled after allowing 3 goals on 13 Lethbridge shots to start the game. Thomas Heemskerk would play the rest of the game in goal for Moose Jaw. The Canes' power play would strike again, just passed the half-way point of the period. Jacob Berglund scored his second of the night and 6th of the year to give Lethbridge a commanding 4-0 lead. With just 34 seconds left in the period, Moose Jaw would break Dylan Tait's shut out bid. Sam Fioretti batted the puck out of mid air and passed Tait to cut the Canes' lead to 4-1 after 40 minutes. The Hurricanes held the edge in shots 26-21 following two periods.
In the third, Cam Braes would complete the hatrick. Braes put home his 10th of the year and 3rd of the game to give Lethbridge a 5-1 lead. The Warriors would then get a two-man advantage. A point shot by Colin Bowman beat Tait to make it 5-2 Lethbridge with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game. The Hurricanes would get a couple more before the end of the game. Cam Braes tipped in a Cason Machacek shot for his 4th goal of the game. That was Braes' team-leading 11th goal of the season to make the score 6-2 Lethbridge. Moose Jaw would then cut the lead in half. Off the draw in the Hurricanes zone, Quinton Howden put the puck in to make it 6-3 Hurricanes and then a power play goal by Cody Beach got the Warriors to within two making the score 6-4 Lethbridge. Late in the game, Max Ross would put one into an empty net to seal it for Lethbridge as the Hurricanes would skate away with a 7-4 victory on home ice. Moose Jaw came out gunning in that third period as they out shot the Canes' 21-8 and made things interesting at times. The Warriors out shot Lethbridge 42-34 overall in this game and played very well I thought in the final period. The power plays looked like this: Moose Jaw 2 for 8 and Lethbridge 3/7
The Hurricanes looked good in this one, earning their first regulation-time win in over two weeks. They weathered the Warriors storm in the first 10 minutes, settled down and played a very good game the rest of the way. The Lethbridge power play was huge, scoring three goals on the night and really took the wind out of Moose Jaw's sails through the first two periods. With the win, the Canes' are back to the .500 mark with a record of 12-12-2-3 for 29 points after 29 games. Brody Sutter looked very good too, recording 3 assists on the first three goals by Cam Braes. It was also a good night for Jacob Berglund with a pair of goals for him. It's been a few weeks since Berglund has found the back of the net. Dylan Tait had a strong game in goal for Lethbridge, coming up with a number of key saves in the final period as Moose Jaw really poured it on.
Our radio broadcast tried something a little different Tuesday night. For the first time, we decided to take a page of the TSN playbook as we put our Colour Analyst Fred Jack between the two benches for the first period. I thought it worked out nicely and certainly gave Fred a whole new perspective on broadcasting a hockey game, this time from ice level where things move a lot quicker than they do 40 feet up in the broadcast booth! Hopefully we'll do it a few more times as this season moved on.
The Hurricanes were hoping to have Michael Sofillas back in the line-up against Moose Jaw, but Head Coach and GM Rich Preston told us before the game that he just wasn't ready to return from his concussion.
The Hurricanes home stand continues this weekend with a game Friday against an opponent from the Western Conference. The Chilliwack Bruins will be in town to take on the Hurricanes. It'll be the first meeting of the season between the two teams. Game time is 7:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. The Hurricanes will host Medicine Hat on Sunday.
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