MEDICINE HAT - Cam Braes and Russ Maxwell each scored twice as the Lethbridge Hurricanes won their season-opening game 4-2 in Medicine Hat Saturday night.
The Hurricanes opened the scoring near the five minute mark of the hockey game with a goal from Captain Cam. Braes tapped a loose puck by Tyler Bunz and into a wide open goal to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. Sutter and Johnston assisted on the Canes first goal of the 2011-2012 season. Less than two minutes later, the Tigers evened when Adam Rehak took a drop pass and fired a shot by Brandon Anderson to tie the game at 1-1. But seconds after that, Lethbridge would regain the lead when Russ Maxwell put a screened shot by Bunz to give the Canes a 2-1 lead after one. Jay Merkley recorded his first WHL point with an assist on that goal.
In the second, it would be the power play, or lack-there-of that would be the story. The Hurricanes had three 5-on-3's and Medicine Hat two 5-on-3's, but neither team was able to find the back of the net. Both teams were a combined 0 for 13 with the power play after two periods of play. The Canes held the edge in shots 22-19 following 40 minutes of play.
In third, the Hurricanes would finally add one more on what was their 9th power play chance of the night. Cam Braes knocked home his second of the night to give Lethbridge some much needed breathing room. The Tigers though would get that back a few minutes later. Dylan Bredo let go a quick wrist shot, beating Anderson high on the blocker side to make it a 3-2 Lethbridge lead. The Tigers tried to even the score, but that's as close as they would get. Russ Maxwell would put the game away with an empty net goal and the Hurricanes would skate away with a 4-2 win. The Canes finished the night 2 for 10 on the power play and the Tigers went 0 for 9. The Hurricanes out shot Medicine Hat 35-28 on the night.
Overall, a very good first game of the season for Lethbridge. They played well in all positions and the victory was well deserved. Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore said he's very happy with the way the young players played under pressure in a hostile environment in Medicine Hat.
The Canes sent Tayler Balog home to Saskatchewan prior to opening weeknd. Head Coach and G.M. Rich Preston told us on the pre-game show Saturday that he's "trying to do something there." He didn't go into anymore detail in regards to Balog.
The Hurricanes next action is Tuesday night when they travel to Cranbrook to take on the defending WHL Champion, Kootenay ICE. Game time is 7:00 pm (MDT). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.
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