LETHBRIDGE - Brody Sutter scored in overtime as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Red Deer Rebels 2-1 Monday afternoon at the ENMAX Centre.
The Hurricanes came of the gate in this afternoon contest with a tonne of jump in their step. Lethbridge hit two goal posts in the opening 20 minutes, but were unable to get the puck past Red Deer's Darcy Kuemper. The game would go scoreless through one period of play. The Rebels had a few good chances too, but Brandon Anderson turned aside all the shots he faced as well. Red Deer held the edge in shots 8-5.
In the second, both teams pushed to break the scoreless tie, but niether Kuemper or Anderson would break and just like the game these two teams played against each other a week and a half ago, after 40 minutes of play the game remained in a 0-0 tie. Not many shots either through two periods as the Rebels held the edge in shots on goal 19-12.
In the third, after nearly 46 minutes of scoreless hockey, the visitors finally broke the 0-0 tie. Colten Mayor back-handed a loose puck in front of the Hurricanes net and that gave the Red Deer Rebels a 1-0 lead. Later on the Hurricanes did find a way to solve Kuemper. On a power play, Russ Maxwell blasted a one-timer by the Red Deer goalie to tie the game up a 1-1. That was the young Maxwell's 8th goal of the year and big one for Lethbridge. Both teams were unable to find the winner in regulation so once again we head into overtime to try and settle things for second time this weekend between these two clubs and for Lethbridge, the 20th time this season, which is the most in the WHL.
In the overtime, the Hurricanes would finish this game off and send the ENMAX Centre (3750 attendance) into a frenzy when Brody Sutter beat Kuemper upstairs and the home team would skate off with a huge 2-1 victory. It was Sutter's 10th of the season and no doubt his biggest. The Hurricanes were out shot by Red Deer 31-20 on the afternoon. Lethbridge went 1 for 5 on the power play while the Rebels went 0 for 4.
With the win, the Hurricanes move to within three points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and with that comes a bit of a milestone for this team too. This was also the Hurricanes 20th win of the season, which equals their entire win total of last season. With a dozen games left in the regular season, the Hurricanes still have a lot of work to do, but Monday's win goes a long way to keeping this hockey club in the post-season hunt. This was a pretty good game for everyone to watch. It was close from start to finish and really could've went either way. The Hurricanes end up taking 5 out of a possible 6 points this weekend.
The Hurricanes little home stand this week continues Wednesday when they play host to the Kamloops Blazers. The Canes' defeated the Blazers when they last stopped by Lethbridge back in early November. These two teams will play for a third and final time next weekend when they Hurricanes travel into B.C. for three games to open up the March portion of their schedule. They will take on Chilliwack, Kamloops, and Kelwona (March 2, 4, & 5). The pre-game show for Wednesday's game versus the Blazers is at 6:30. The puck drops at 7:00 pm (MST).
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