MEDICINE HAT - Three power play goals helped the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 5-4 victory in Medicine Hat Tuesday night in what turned out to be a wild finish to a pretty entertaining hockey game.
After a bit of delay for the SHAW TV broadcast, the game got underway with an excellent back-and-forth pace in what was the 7th meeting of the season between the Hurricanes and Tigers. Lethbridge opened the scoring with a power play goal from Landon Oslanski. That was his 4th goal of the season to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead. The Canes' power play would click again just a few minutes later. This time it was Austin Fyten who put home a wrap-round from behind the Tigers goal. That beat Medicine Hat goaltender Deven Dubyk for Fyten's 17th of the season to give the Canes' a 2-0 lead just over 8 minutes into the game. Late in the period though, the Hurricanes would get into some penalty trouble. With just over 30 seconds remaining, the Tigers got a 5-on-3 man advantage and scored to cut the Lethbridge lead to 2-1 after one period of play. Rich Preston was furious with the officials after that goal for putting his team down two men. The Tigers out shot Lethbridge 14-9 in the first period.
In the second, the Tigers came out like a house on fire looking for the tying goal. The Hurricanes though would regain their two-goal lead on yet another power goal. Cam Braes took a blind pass from Austin Fyten and fired the puck past Dubyk to give Lethbridge a 3-1 lead. The Tigers came close a few times to getting another goal, but Brandon Anderson was outstanding in the Lethbridge net and the Canes' ended up taking a two-goal lead into the dressing room after 40 minutes of play. The Tigers held the edge in shots 26-15 following two periods of hockey.
In the third, the Hurricanes would once again held off the Medicine Hat charge in the early going. The Canes' would later get one more as Phil Tot scored his 5th of the season to give Lethbridge a 4-1 lead. It appeared at that point that might be it, but hold the phone! That would actually be the start of a wild final 5 minutes. The Tigers would score soon after to make it 4-2 when Thomas Carr hammered the past Anderson. Then with just over two minutes remaining, Medicine Hat pulled the goalie while the two teams were playing 4-on-4. Hunter Shinkaruk scored to cut the Canes' lead to 4-3. The Tigers would nearly tie the game, but Brandon Anderson may have made the stop of the season for Lethbridge that would turn out to be a game-saver. Anderson was down on his side when Linden Vey tried to fire a slap-shot over him. Anderson threw up his glove and snatched the puck out of mid-air Soon after that, Austin Fyten scored into an empty goal for his second of the night to make it 5-3 Hurricanes. Off the draw at centre ice, the Tigers would pull the goalie again and with 12 seconds left, Tyler Pitlick scored to make it 5-4, but that's as close as the Tigers would get in this one. It was a crazy finish and maybe for the Hurricanes a little closer thann they would've liked it, but they'll take the two points and move on. Credit the Tigers for battling back and making for a very entertaining and wild ending.
As mentioned, Brandon Anderson was great in goal as the Hurricanes were out shot 45-25. The Canes' power play was very good too going 3 for 5 on the night, while the Tigers were 1 for 6. The Canes' actually scored on their first three power plays in the game. Both teams hit some goal posts and crossbars in this game too. For Lethbridge it was a huge two points and a much needed victory. The Canes have two wins in their passed three games. With the win, Lethbridge improves to 15-20-2-7 and trail Prince Albert by 4 points for the final playoff spot in the East.
The Hurricanes will take on the Moose Jaw Warriors Wednesday night at the "Crushed Can". This will be the last-ever game for the Hurricanes in the old Moose Jaw Civic Centre. The Warriors will be opening a new downtown multi-plex arena in the fall and are playing their final WHL season in this old rink, which if the walls could talk you'd know they'd have plenty of stories to tell. Game time from Moose Jaw is 6:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 5:30.
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