CALGARY - Two goals in the second period just over a minute apart lifted the Calgary Hitmen to a 3-1 victory over the Hurricanes Sunday afternoon.
Unlike the first two games of this mini-series where the Hurricanes opened the scoring with two first periods goals, there was no offence in the first period of this game at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. Both goaltenders in this game played excellent in the first period. The shots finished 12-12.
In the second, the game would finally get it's first goal. Austin Fyten moved it with Cam Braes on a two-on-one and Fyten fought off two Hitmen players to score his 16th of the season and give the Hurricanes a 1-0. The Hitmen would get that one back and then take the lead soon after. First, Chase Clayton blew down the right wing and put a shot past Brandon Anderson to even the score at 1-1. One minute and 14 seconds after that, Calgary would take the lead. Kyle Schmidt fired a shot from the blueline that beat a screened Anderson to give the home team a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Despite the two goals, Anderson played excellent in that period as the Hitmen fired 15 shots on the Lethbridge goal. It was a wide open game as well up to this point as the Hitmen held the edge in shots on goal 27-24.
In the third, the two hockey teams would open things up a little more. Nearly six straight minutes of play without a whistle kept the flow going in what was end-to-end action right to the final buzzer. The Canes' continued to pound pucks on the Calgary goal in the final period. Their best chance and maybe the turning point in the game, was a 5-on-3 power play for nearly a whole minute with 3:25 remaining in the 3rd period. The Canes' were unable to get the equalizer and the Hitmen would add one more into an empty goal and that would be it in this game. Calgary would go on to take the match-up 3-1 the final score. The loss drops the Hurricanes record to 14-20-2-7 on the season. They still trail P.A. by 5 points for the final playoff spot in the East, but this was one the 5 games the Hurricanes had in hand on the Raiders. The Canes' really came out firing in the 3rd period, out shooting Calgary 11-2 and out shot the Hitmen 35-29 overall. Lethbridge finished the afternoon 0 for 3 on the power play while Calgary went 1 for 5 as the empty-netter counted as a power goal for the Hitmen.
You certainly can't fault the Hurricanes effort and desire in this game. They ran into a hot Calgary goalie in Brandon Glover, combined with some trouble finishing off on a few of their chances around net. If the Canes' put forth an effort like this every night, they'll give themselves a chance to win each game. No doubt a tough pill to swallow for this Lethbridge team. It appears that Brandon Anderson is back on his game. He made several key saves, especially in the 2nd period despite allowing two goals against Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore said on the CJOC post-game show Sunday that perhaps Anderson is playing his best hockey of the season since coming back from the Christmas break. As for Calgary, give them some credit. They battled hard too,. This is a team, I think is better than a last-place hockey club. Their record maybe isn't an indication on how they play. At least not in this three game mini-series with the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes are on the road for the next week and won't return home until January 25th when they play host to the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Canes' will visit Medicine Hat on Tuesday, before heading off to Moose Jaw Wednesday, Brandon Friday, and Regina on Saturday. Tuesday's game will be the Hurricanes last game in Medicine Hat this season. Game time will be 7:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.
HURRICANES THIS WEEK
Our weekly Hurricanes talk show is back on the air Monday night on CJOC. We bring back the Hurricanes Media Roundtable for the first time in 2011. Dylan Purcell from the Lethbridge Herald and Paul Kingsmith from Global T.V. will join Fred and I on the program. Any questions you have for the Media Roundtable, you can email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The show starts at 6:00 pm (MST). If you miss a program, you can always download it the following day from our radio station website or download it as an iTunes podcast.
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