RED DEER - Two goals in the first period and three more in the third powered the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 5-1 victory in Red Deer Friday night.
A very good start for the Hurricanes in this game. The Canes came out with a lot of energy grabbed an early lead. Seven minutes into the period, Brody Sutter fired home his team-leading 11th goal fo the season on a power play to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead. The Hurricanes would keep it coming. Soon after the Canes would go ahead by a pair. Cam Braes took a pass from Nick Buonassisi from behind the Red Deer goal and put the puck behind Patrik Bartosak to give Lethbridge a 2-0 goal lead. That's the way the period would end. It was an excellent opening period for the Hurricanes and I said on the broadcast, probably their best period of hockey in Red Deer in the last three seasons. It was also a physical period. There were three fights. The Hurricanes out shot Red Deer 23-13 and had several scoring chaces. They were no doubt the better team in that opening 20 minutes.
In the second, the teams would continue to get under each other's skin. Two more fights to open the period would pretty much set the pace. The Rebels would end up getting one of those Lethbridge goals back. Colten Mayor tapped the loose puck behind Damien Ketlo. That cut the Hurricanes lead to 2-1. The period would end that way too. Red Deer came on strong in the second and held the edge in shots 33-32 through 40 minutes of play.
In the third, the Hurricanes would regain their two-goal lead. Cam Braes let a wrist shot go from just in front of the Red Deer goal, beating Bartosak on the blocker-side. That gave the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead. Just over a minute later Lethbridge would get another one. This time a lucky bounce for the Hurricanes as Jay Merkley threw puck out front from behind the Red Deer net and banked it off Bartosak and in for his 5th of the year. That made it 4-1 Hurricanes and that would also be it for Bartosak in the Red Deer goal. Bolton Pouliot would finish the game between the pipes for the Rebels. Lethbridge wasn't finished there. They would get another one on the power play before the game would end. Nick Buonassisi scored his 7th of the year. That made it 5-1 Hurricanes and that's the way the game would end. The Hurricanes improve to 6-19-0-1 on the season. They've also won three out of their last four games. Red Deer out shot the Hurricanes 43-42. Lethbridge finished the game 2/3 on the power play, while the Rebels went 1/5.
The Hurricanes were full value for the win, which was their first victory in Red Deer in a few seasons. Their best players were their best players, lead by Cam Braes who had two goals and an assist and goaltender Damien Ketlo who stopped 42 of the 43 shots he faced. It was also the Canes second road vicgtory of the year.
The Hurricanes next action is Saturday (Nov. 26) when they play their first game at Rexall Place in Edmonton. The Canes will be looking for some redemption in that game after the Oil Kings handed them a 10-3 loss on Wednesday. Game time is 7:00 pm (MST). Lethbridge is back at home next Tuesday night (Nov. 29) when they host Red Deer.
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