CALGARY - Three goals in the first period powered the Calgary Hitmen to a 6-3 victory over the Hurricanes Sunday afternoon at the Saddledome.
Not the start the Hurricanes were hoping for in this afternoon contest with the Hitmen. Calgary got off to a quick start with three goals in just over 10 minutes of play. Trevor Cheek opened the scoring at the 3:53 mark. The Hitmen would then get a 5-on-3 power play for two straight minutes and they would make the Hurricanes pay dearly. Victor Rask scored on the power play to make it 2-0 and then just over a minute later, Jimmy Bubnick put the puck by Liam Liston to give the Hitmen a 3-0 lead. Things were looking a bit bleak for the Hurricanes until late in the period when Lethbridge scored twice in 30 seconds. First Graham Hood scored his 4th of the year to cut the lead to 3-1 and right after, Nick Buonassisi wrapped in the puck from behind the goal to make it a 3-2 hockey game in favour of Calgary after one period. The Hitmen held the edge in shots 13-7.
In the second, the Hitmen regained their two-goal lead. Danny Gayle made a nice move on Liam Liston, putting the puck low along the ice on the gloveside to give Calgary a 4-2 lead. Before the end of the period, the Hitmen would get one more. Alex Gogolev threw the puck at the net and it went off a Lethbridge defenceman and in by Liston making the score 5-2 Calgary after 40 minutes. The Hitmen held the edge in shots in goal 22-16.
In the third, the Hitmen would keep it coming. Alex Gogolev would get his second of the afternoon. That made it 6-2 Calgary and unfortunately for the Hurricanes that would be it. This would be the Canes 5th loss in a row and they have just one victory in their last 19 games. The Hurricanes out shot Calgary 31-29. Lethbridge went 0/3 on the power play and Calgary went 3/5. Hurricanes Assistant G.M. Brad Robson joined me on the second intermission Sunday. He said as difficult as this losing skid has been on all the players, coaches, fans, and team personnel, the Canes must use this as a learning experience they builds for the future.
The Hurricanes will have a few days off before their next action. They begin a stretch of 8 straight games against four of the top teams in the Western Hockey League. The Canes will play Red Deer and Edmonton three times each and Medicine Hat once to close out November. They'll open the month of December against the Saskatoon Blades. All four of those teams are at or just a few points away from first place in not just the Eastern Conference, but the entire WHL. Lethbridge will host the Rebels Friday night (Nov. 18) at the ENMAX Centre. Edmonton comes to town Saturday (Nov. 19).
HURRICANES THIS WEEK
Our weekly Hurricanes radio show is back on the air Monday night at 6:00 pm (MST) LIVE from Average Joe's Sports Bar on 6th Street South. Joining Fred and I will be Canes Associate Coach Matt Kabayama. We'll also welcome Gregg Drinnan, Sports Editor of the Kamloops Daily News and popular WHL blogger, and in the last segment of the program we hope to chat with Cam Moon, the radio voice of the Red Deer Rebels to set up Friday's game between the Hurricanes and Rebels.