CALGARY - Two quick goals in the third period lifted the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a big 3-2 win over the Calgary Hitmen Friday night at the Saddledome.
Kind of flat start for the Lethbridge Hurricanes in this game at the Saddledome. The Hitmen had the much better chances in the opening 20 minutes, the but the Canes' would end up finding the back of the net late in the period to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Jacob Berglund took a nice drop pass from Alex Kuvaev and fired a shot top shelf for his 17th goal of the season. That's the way the period would end. The Hurricanes can thank their goalie for the fact the had the lead after one period. Brandon Anderson, making his 14th straight start was excellent between the pipe as Calgary out shot Lethbridge 11-5.
In the second, the Hitmen would tie things up on a 5-on-3 power play. Max Ross was given a 5 minute major for boarding and on the ensuing two-man advantage, Brooks Macek beat Anderson on a very sharp angle to even the score 1-1. The goal broke an 0 for 25 drought for the Hitmen on the power play. Calgary would get one more power play goal before the end of the period to take a 2-1 lead. Kris Foucault tapped home a point shot to give the Hitmen their first lead of the night and that really put the pressure on the Hurricanes going into the final frame in what was billed a must-win game for Lethbridge. Calgary held the edge in shots 16-12 after 40 minutes of play.
In the third, the Hurricanes would push hard to get the equalizer and at the mid-way point in the period they would tie the game after Rich Preston decided to call a timeout. Derek Ryckman jumped up into the play on a 2-on-1 rush and took a pass from Austin Fyten, burying his 5th goal of the season to even the score at 2-2. Just over two minutes later, Lethbridge would regain a one-goal. Brody Sutter lifted a shot over Brandon Glover atthe side of the Calgary goal to give the Hurricanes 3-2 lead. That was the 15th goal of the season for Sutter and gave the Canes their first lead since late in the first period. Calgary tried to tie things again, but that is the way this one would finish. The Hurricanes would skate away with their 4th in 6 games this season against Calgary. Calgary out shot Lethbridge 23-19 on the night. The Hurricanes went 0 for 6 on the power play while Calgary finished the game 2 for 6.
This was a must-win game for the Hurricanes and they found a way to pull up their socks in the third period in this one, dig deep, and get the victory. The win keeps the Canes two points back of Prince Albert for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Raiders beat Edmonton 5-3 Friday. Both teams have four games to go in the regular season.
MERKLEY AND WATSON
The Hurricanes are bringing back with them a couple of their bantam draft picks for the weekend. Jay Merkley, the Canes' first round selection in 2010 and highest-ever draft choice and Jamal Watson, a 5th round pick of the Hurricanes in 2010 will be spending the next couple of days with the hockey club, just getting familiarized with the organization and to take a tour of the ENMAX Centre. Merkley has been playing his midget hockey for the Calgary Buffaloes and Watson with the Flames.
The Hurricanes return home to play host to the rival Medicine Hat Tigers Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre. Head Coach and G.M. Rich Preston said on the CJOC pre-game show on Friday that his team might have to run the table or pretty close to that if they want to make the post-season dance. Lethbridge has four games remaining in the regular season, including Saturday's game versus the Tigers. Next week they will play in Edmonton and a home-and-away set with the Kootenay ICE next weekend to close things out. The Hurricanes will also give out their yearly awards prior to next Friday's final regular season home game against Kootenay.