LETHBRIDGE - A huge third period rally, with four goals in the final frame, lifted the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-5 shootout win Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre.
After the Hurricanes took a moment to honour the players families on this Alberta Family Day weekend, Edmonton would spoil the party early. Kristians Pelss picked up a rebound in front of the Lethbridge goal and beat Brandon Anderson to give the Oil Kings a 1-0 lead less than two minutes in. The Canes' settled down in the second half of the period and had a few good chances to tie the game, but Edmonton would take the one-goal lead into the dressing room. The Oil Kings out shot the Hurricanes 12-6 through 20 minutes. It was also a physical first period with a number a solid checks by both teams.
In the second, the Oil Kings would go up by a pair. This time is was Travis Ewanyk beating Anderson low along the ice to give the visitors a 2-1 lead, but that didn't last long. 39 seconds later the Hurricanes would get that one back. Landon Oslanski took a pass from Mitch Maxwell and fired the puck by Edmonton's Laurent Brossoit to cut the Edmonton lead to 2-1. It would be the 6th goal of the season for the Lethbridge defenceman. That is the way the period would end. Edmonton held the slight edge in shots on goal 19-17 after 40 minutes of play.
In the third, the Oil Kings would get another one. That goal would be the start of a wild final period of hockey at the ENMAX Centre. Cam Abney cashed in a loose puck in front of the Hurricanes goal to give Edmonton a 3-1 lead. The Hurricanes would keep chipping away at that lead. Austin Fyten would score his 22nd of the year on a beautiful wrap-around to make it a 3-2 game in favour of the Oil Kings. Edmonton though would get that one back off a bad give-away in the Lethbridge zone. Kristians Pelss stole the puck and hammered a shot past Anderson to give Edmonton a two-goal lead again, this time 4-2. Lethbridge continued to come at Edmonton in the third period. Derek Ryckman ended up scoring his 3rd goal of the year to make it 4-3 Edmonton and then a few minutes later the Canes would tie the game when Jacob Berglund found the back of the net. That was his 13th goal of the season to even the score at 4-4. The Hurricanes would soon after complete the comeback when Graham Hood scored his 8th goal of the season for the home team to give Lethbridge a 5-4 lead with about five minutes to go. Edmonton would not go quietly. A minute later the Oil Kings would tie the score at 5-5 when Jordan Hickmott snapped a shot by Anderson. That would be the way the period would end and for the 19th time this season, the Hurricanes would head into overtime. Edmonton out shot Lethbridge 35-33 on the night. Edmonton went 0 for 2 on the power play and Lethbridge went 0 for 3 on the night.
The extra period would solve nothing so the game would be decided in the shootout. Mitch Maxwell would be the only player on either team to find the back on the net and the Hurricanes would skate away with a huge two points and a 6-5 victory. The Canes, who showed a no-quit attitude all night, earned their 19th victory of the season. The Hurricanes remain 5 points back of Prince Albert for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, as the Raiders won their game on Saturday night as well. It was a well-earned and much-needed victory for the Hurricanes and a very entertaining game for the fans to watch, especially in the final 20 minutes and the extra time.
The Hurricanes will play host to the Red Deer Rebels on Monday afternoon at the ENMAX Centre. This Alberta Family Day game will be the last meeting of the season between the two teams, who've seen a lot of each other over the past few weeks. Although the Hurricanes have lost their past four games with the Rebels, Lethbridge has battled the WHL second-best team hard in the last two. The Canes' will be looking to get a win against Red Deer after losing 2-1 in overtime to the Rebels on Friday. Game time is 2:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 1:30. The Hurricanes are offering $2.00 youth tickets for the Family Day game with the purchase of one adult ticket. Also, because of the Monday game there will be no Hurricanes This Week talk show this Monday. The program resumes next Monday night, February 28th at 6:00 pm.
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