LETHBRIDGE - The Lethbridge Hurricanes playoff hopes ended Friday night with a 5-3 loss to the Kootenay ICE at the ENMAX Centre.
After the Hurricanes gave out their annual player awards, the Canes' would get things going in this game, courtesy of their leading scorer. Cam Braes put home his 31st of the season, scoring against Kootenay's rookie goalie Mackenzie Skapski to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. The ICE would get that one back a few minutes later on a power play. Steele Boomer cashed in a rebound by Brandon Anderson and that evened the score at 1-1. Anderson made his 17th consecutive start in goal for Lethbridge in this game. The ICE would take their first lead of night with a late first period goal by Brayden McNabb. He wired a wrist shot by Anderson to give Kootenay a 2-1 lead going into the dressing room after 20 minutes. The shots were even at 11-11.
In the second, neither team was able to generate much offence until late in the period when the Hurricanes tied the game up on a man advantage of their own. Brody Sutter banked a shot off a Kootenay defenceman and past Skapski to tie the game at 2-2. That was Sutter's 17th goal of this season and evened things up after 40 minutes of play. Lethbridge held the edge in shots 19-16.
In the third, the Kootenay ICE would regain their one-goal. Kevin King came down the left wing and sent a low, hard wrist shot off the post and past Anderson to give Kootenay a 3-2 lead. The ICE would jump ahead by a pair of goals just passed the mid-way point of the period. Drew Czerwonka buried a shot upstairs on Brandon Anderson to give the visitors a 4-2 lead. Kootenay would get one more on the power play before the end of the game. Matt Fraser finished off a rebound in front of the Hurricanes net to putthe ICE ahead 5-2, but the Hurricanes would get one more before the game would end. Max Ross tapped in a loose puck for his 15th goal of the season and that's the way things would end as the ICE would skate away with a 5-3 win over Lethbridge. Kootenay out shot the Hurricanes 35-27. The ICE went 3 for 4 on the power play and the Canes' finished the night 1 for 5.
The loss officially eliminated the Hurricanes from playoff contention. The Prince Albert Raiders defeated Swift Current Friday and with that, the Raiders clinch the final post-season spot in the Eastern Conference. P.A. will meet up with the top-ranked Saskatoon Blades in the opening round next weekend. The Canes' will miss the playoffs for the second season in a row. Associate Coach Matt Kabayama said on the CJOC post-game show that it was a disappointing result and even more disappointing that they now know after Saturday, this season will be over. Also on the post-game show Fred asked overage forwards Mitch Maxwell and Max Ross what the future holds after their junior careers comes to an end. Ross says he hopes to play somewhere in the C.I.S. and get an education. Maxwell says he will be going on a two-year mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and then return home to southern Alberta and hopes to play hockey in the C.I.S.
HURRICANES 2010-2011 AWARD WINNERS
The hockey club handed 10 awards prior to Friday night's game against the Kootenay ICE. Here are the following winners:
Scholastic Player of the Year: Michael Sofillas
Community Relations Award: Mitch Maxwell
Most Sportsmanlike Player: Jacob Berglund
Top Defenceman Award: Mike Reddington
Top Scorer Award: Cam Braes
Three Stars Award: Cam Braes
Fan Favourite Award: Michael Sofillas
Perseverance, Dedication, & Sportsmanship Award: Brody Sutter
Rookie of the Year Award: Russ Maxwell
Most Valuable Player: Austin Fyten
The Hurricanes will play their final game of the 2010-2011 season Saturday night at the Rec Plex in Cranbrook. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 pm (MDT), but the puck drop will be delayed as the ICE hand out their annual awards. The game will get going likely around 7:20. Because of the delayed start, we will push back our pre-game show start time as well. We will be on the air at 6:45 pm.
This blog post is brought to you by http://www.clearlylethbridge.com/.