REGINA, SK. - The Regina Pats would out score the Hurricanes in a shoot out as Pats earned a 5-4 victory Friday night at the Brandt Centre.
A well played opening period by both teams in Regina Friday night, but neither team was able to find the back of the net. For Lethbridge, it was their best first period since early in the season. They managed to out shoot the Pats 11-9 in the opening 20 minutes of this game. Both hockey clubs had chances on the power play, but the goalies Brandon Anderson and Matt Hewitt stood tall keeping things scoreless after one.
In the second, the Pats would break the scoreless tie. Lyndon Martell tipped a shot by Anderson to make it 1-0 Regina. A few minutes later though the Hurricanes would get a power play and make good on it. Macoy Erkamps scored his first-ever WHL goal to even the score at 1-1. It was also the first goal scored by a Lethbridge defenceman this season. Regina would end up regaining their one goal lead with a power play goal of their own. Domink Volek scored on a 5-on-3 man advantage to put the home side ahead 2-1. But the Hurricanes would not be out done. Russ Maxwell scored a highlight reel goal, picking up the puck at his own blue line, flew down the right wing and popped a backhander under the crossbar and in for his 3rd goal of the season. That evened the score at 2-2. That's the way the period would end. Regina held a slight 23-21 edge in shots after 40 minutes.
In the third, the Pats jumped back into the lead with a goal just 27 seconds into the period. Andrew Reider tipped a shot by Anderson, giving the Pats a 3-2 lead, but the Hurricanes wouldn't go away. Derek Ryckman would take a drop pass from Phil Tot, scoring his first goal of the year to tie things up at 3-3. Regina ended up getting that one back with under 8 minutes to go. Kyle Burroughs was allowed to skate right in and fire a shot by Anderson, making the score 4-3 Pats. But once again, the Hurricanes would battle back. This time, Brody Sutter would be awarded a penalty shot with 1:36 left in the period and he scored his 4th of season with a beautiful move to tie the game at 4-4, making for an interesting finish and sending this game into overtime. The O.T. solved nothing so this game would go to a shootout to decide a winner. The shootout went through five rounds and in the end, the Pats would come out with a 5-4 victory. The Canes earned one point for the loss and see their record fall to 2-3-0-1. Lethbridge out shot Regina 37-32. There were lots of power plays in this game. The Hurricanes went 1/6 and Regina 1/7.
The Hurricanes played well enough to win and probably should've. Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore was a bit frustrated on the post-game show saying regardless of how well the team played at times, in the end it boils down to wins. The Hurricanes trailed by one goal four times in this game and battled back every time. They never did get the lead. Jay Merkley was scratched for the second game in a row. Head Coach and G.M. Rich Preston said on the pre-game show that Merkley got his bell rung last week and also had a bit of the flu. He says Merkley was diagnosed with a concussion and will be sidelined for a few more games until he's clear of any symptoms.
The Hurricanes close out this Saskatchewan trip Saturday night in Swift Current. It'll be the first of four meetings between the two teams this seasons. Game time is 7:00 pm (MDT). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. The Bronocs will be in Lethbridge next Saturday for the rematch. The Hurricanes return home Tuesday to host Edmonton.
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