LETHBRIDGE - Three goals in the first and three more in the second helped the Kamloops Blazers to 7-4 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes Friday night at the ENMAX Centre.
A decent start for the Hurricanees in this game, but the Kamloops Blazers would draw first blood. Cole Ully scored his first goal of the year to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Before the game was 10 minutes old, the Blazers would get another one when Colin Smith scored his 7th of the season on the power play to give Kamloops a 2-0 lead. Shortly after that, the Hurricanes would get one of those back. Cam Braes took a huge hit, but in the process he dished the puck off to Brody Sutter who fired a low shot by Kamloops rookie goalie Cole Cheveldave to cut the lead to 2-1. That was Sutter's 5th of the year. Before the end of the period Kamloops would regain it's two-goal lead. This time, J.C. Lipon lifted a shot over the glove of Liston to make it a 3-1 game in favour of the Blazers. Before the end of the period, the Hurricanes made it 3-2. Russ Maxwell burst into the Kamloops zone and fired a backhander by Cheveldave. That was his 4th goal of season and made it a one-goal hockey game heading into the dressing room. The Canes were out shot 20-12 in what was a fairly wide-open first period of play.
In the second, the Canes found the equalizer on a power play. Cam Braes wired a shot top corner for his 6th goal of the season, tying the game up at 3-3. The Hurricanes would eventually take the lead for the first time. Landon Oslanski scored a beautiful, highlight reel goal for his 3rd of the season to put the home side ahead for the first time, 4-3. That goal chased Kamloops' starting goalie Cole Cheveldave. He was replaced by the veteran Cam Lanigan. The Blazers would tie the game a few minutes later. J.T. Barnett stole the puck down the left wing and put the shot between the legs on Liston to make it a 4-4 hockey game. Kamloops took the lead back again with a couple of quick goals late in the period. Cole Ully notched his second goal of the night to make it 5-4 on a power play and then 30 seconds later Dylan Willick fired a shot by Liston to make 6-4 for the Blazers. Kamloops also had one goal waved off in that period. After 40 minutes the shots were 37 for Kamloops and 23 for Lethbridge.
In the third period, the Blazers would take a three goal lead on a giveaway by the Hurricanes in front of their own goal. Colin Smith stole puck and put it overtop of Liam Liston to make it a 7-4 game in favour of Kamloops. That would be it in this onC, as the Blazers would skate away with the victory. Lethbridge finished the night 1 for 4 on the power play and Kamloops was 2 for 4. The loss drops the Hurricanes record to 2-10-0-1 on the season for just 5 points overall. The Canes have also lost 10 games in a row. The last time the Hurricanes won was their home opener on September 30th when they beat Calgary. Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore said on the CJOC post-game show that the team has been going back to the basics in practices and video sessions as they try and turn this streak around.
The Canes played against Kamloops with a few players still sidelined due to injury. Defencemen Daniel Johnston and Albin Blomqvist remained out of the line-up and Phil Tot missed the Friday game as well with a lower body injury. Forward Jay Merkley made his return for Lethbridge after missing the past two weeks with a concussion. He played well and had a few good scoring chances.
The Hurricanes next action is set for Saturday (Oct 22) when they play host to the Brandon Wheat Kings. This will be game four of a 7 game home stand for the Canes. Lots of interesting story lines in the game too, especially given the trade the team clubs made a week ago. Goalie Brandon Anderson will dress for the Wheat Kings in his first game against his former team as so will goalie Liam Liston and defenceman Spencer Galbraith for the Hurricanes against Brandon. Game time from the ENMAX Centre is 7:00 pm (MDT). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.
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