LETHBRIDGE - The Medicine Hat Tigers battled back twice from two-goal deficits to beat the Hurricanes 6-5 in a shootout Sunday evening at the ENMAX Centre
The Hurricanes came out very strong in this game. Just over 5 minutes in, the Canes' power play would open the scoring. Jacob Berglund scored his 7th of the season to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lad. The Tigers would even the score a few minutes later when Reid Petryk fired a shot passed Brandon Anderson to tie the game 1-1. That was just the second shot of the game for Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes would regain that one goal lead not too long after. Brody Sutter notched his first of the season to make it 2-1 Lethbridge. Before the end of the period the Hurricanes would get another one. Cam Braes scored his 13th of year to put the Canes' ahead 3-1 after one period of play. That was Braes' 6th goal this week in three games. It was a very good period for Lethbridge. At one point in the period, the Hurricanes were out shooting Medicine Hat 7-0. They held the edge 15-9 after one.
In the second, the Tigers would cut the lead to one goal when Matthew Konan hammered home a point shot on a Medicine Hat power play to make it 3-2 Lethbridge early in the period. The Tigers would soon tie the game on yet another power play. Emerson Etem beat Anderson up high on the glove side to even the game at 3-3. Lethbridge would get one of those two goals back. Max Ross sent a wrist shot from about 30 feet away that beat Deven Dubyk for his 9th of the season. That gave the Canes' a 4-3 lead. Minutes later the Hurricanes would make it 5-3. Austin Fyten knocked down a Brody Sutter shot and put the puck in for his 11th of the seaosn to give the Canes' a two lead again. That would be it for Dubyk as the Tigers would pull him in favour of Tyler Bunz who finish the game for Medicine Hat in goal. The Canes' would take a two goal into the dressing after 40 minutes. Lethbridge held the edge in shots through two periods 26-21. Things also got a little chippy in that period. A number of penalties were called against both teams as Cason Machacek and Cole Grbavac would get ejected for their respective teams just passed the half-way point in the game.
In the third, Medicine Hat would make it a one goal game again. Wacey Hamilton scored for the Tigers to cut the Lethbridge lead to 5-4 with about 15 minutes to go in the period. The Tigers would keep it coming all period long and with just over two minutes to go, Tyler Pitlick scored to tie the game 5-5. For the second time in the game, Medicine Hat erased a two-goal deficit to tie the game. That goal would send the game into extra time. This would be the 11th time this season that the Hurricanes have gone into either overtime or a shootout to settle a game. The O.T. didn't produce a winner so the game would end up being decided in a shootout instead. In a nutshell, the Tigers scored twice and the Canes' once and Medicine Hat would battle back and erase a two-goal deficit twice to beat the Hurricanes 6-5. Associate Coach Matt Kabayama said on the CJOC post-game show, "We gave a point away tonight. Our discipline in the second period proved to be costly. I thought we had some good performances from a number of players (despite the loss)." The power plays looked like this: Lethbridge finished the game 1 for 5 and Medicine Hat was 2 for 5. The final shots through regulation and overtime ended even at 43-43. With the shootout loss, the Hurricanes earn a big single point, but see their record fall to 12-13-2-4 on the season after 31 games. It was a fairly entertaining game that had a little bit of everything. Nice goals, some good goaltending (especially by the Hurricanes in the third period), and some very scrappy play which saw four fights and numerous penalties. It was a busy night for the officials, but a fun game to watch.
Reid Jackson did play for the Hurricanes Sunday evening after leaving the game early on Friday following a hit behind the Canes' goal. As for Michael Sofillas and Daniel Johnston, Head Coach Rich Preston said before the game that Sofillas had a bit of whiplash and could be back Wednesday and Johnston is out one week with a shoulder injury, so he likely won't be back until after the break.
The Hurricanes will play game five of a six game home stand Wednesday (Dec. 15) as they play host to the Kelowna Rockets. It'll be the first of two meetings this season between the hockey clubs. The Canes' will travel to the Okanagan city for the re-match in March. The Hurricanes will close out the unofficial first half of the season Friday and Saturday with a home-and-away set with Medicine Hat.
HURRICANES THIS WEEK
Our final Hurricanes radio show for 2010 will take place Monday night at 6:00 (MST) on CJOC. On the program is Hurricanes President Brian McNaughton. He'll join Fred and I to discuss the first half of the season and give us an update from the Board of Directors. We'll also speak with Hurricanes Assistant GM Brad Robson and hope to have a quick chat with Regan Bartel, the radio voice of the Kelowna Rockets. After Monday, the talk show will take a two week break and be back January 3, 2011.
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