LETHBRIDGE - The Kamloops Blazers blew a three-goal third period lead, but held on for a 5-4 overtime win over the Hurricanes Wednesday at the ENMAX Centre.
The visitors opened the scoring in this hockey game. With 6:50 remaining in the opening period, Colin Smith sent a blind pass from behind the Hurricanes goal and Thomas Frazee beat Brandon Anderson to give the Kamloops Blazers a 1-0 lead. That would be the only offence in the opening 20 minutes of this game. It was a pretty slow start to this game for Lethbridge. They didn't have much jump coming off that big win over Red Deer on Monday. The Blazers out shot the Canes' 11-5 in the first period.
In the second, the Blazers would go up by a pair early. Dalibor Bortnak let a quick shot go on a Kamloops power play, it deflected off a Lethbridge skate and past Anderson. That gave the Blazers a 2-0 lead. Bortnak wasn't done there. A few minutes later and just after a Lethbridge power play had come to an end, Bortnak picked up a bouncing puck at centre ice, got behind the Canes' defence and put a shot into the top corner to make it 3-0 Kamloops. After the half-way point in the period, the Hurricanes would finally get one on the scoreboard. Brody Sutter picked up a lose puck in front of the Blazers net and fired a shot by Jeff Bosch for his 11th goal of the season. That cut the Kamloops lead to 3-1. The Hurricanes continued to come hard at the Blazers for the rest of period, but that's way things would end. Kamloops took a two-goal lead into the dressing room. After 40 minutes, the shots were even at 19-19.
In the third, the Blazers would get their three-goal lead back again. Early in the period, Brady Gaudet let a wrist shot go from the Canes' blueline, beating a screened Brandon Anderson to give Kamloops a commanding 4-1 lead. The Hurricanes though would push for a big third period come back again. First it was Graham Hood who fired a shot by Bosch for his 9th goal of the season to make the score 4-2 Kamloops and shortly after that, the Hurricanes would get one more, this time short-handed when Brody Sutter scored his second of the night and 12th of the season. That made it a one-goal game going into the final 8 minutes of the period. The Canes' would complete the third period rally with yet another short-handed goal. This time it would be Jacob Berglund who would score for Lethbridge, as the Canes' erased a 4-2 deficit to tie the game a 4-4. For the Swede, that would be his 14th goal of year. That goal would earn the Hurricanes at least a single point as the game would head into overtime to decide a winner.
This would be the 4th straight time the Canes' would head into overtime over the last week and 21st time overall this season. Early in the extra frame, the Blazers would put this game away. Jordan DePape took a feed in front of the Lethbridge goal and blasted a shot off the crossbar and in to give the Kamloops Blazers a 5-4 win and with that the big extra point that was up for grabs in extra session. Kamloops out shot the Hurricanes 33-28. The power plays looked like this: Kamloops went 1 for 4 and Lethbridge went 0 for 5 and also managed two short-handed goals.
The Hurricanes earned a single point and move to within two points of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Canes' power play had numerous chances to score in the third period, including a four minute power play, but were unable to score. The penalty kill did a great job for Lethbridge on the night, scoring twice while down a man. The Canes' surely wanted the two points, but they certainly earned the single. The Hurricanes record after 61 games sits at 20-28-5-8 for 53 points.
The Hurricanes will close out this four-game home stand Friday when they play host to the Edmonton Oil Kings. This will be the first of a home-and-away set this weekend between the two teams. Lethbridge will travel to Rexall Place for the rematch on Saturday. After the Friday game, the Hurricanes will head on the road for their next four games, including the one in Edmonton. Next week, Lethbridge will travel into B.C. They will play in Chilliwack Wednesday (Mar. 2), Kamloops on Friday (Mar. 4), and in Kelowna Saturday (Mar. 5) before returning returning home. Lethbridge will play it's first home game in March on Wednesday, March 9th when they play host to Moose Jaw.
This blog post is brought to you by http://www.clearlylethbridge.com/.