SASKATOON, SK. - It was a rough one for the Hurricanes Saturday night. The Blades scored three goals in the first and four more in the second and cruised to a 7-3 win over the Hurricanes at the Credit Union Centre.
The Hurricanes had a couple of great chances early in this one, including a penalty shot by Brody Sutter, but the Blades would get on the board first. Michael Burns knocked a loose puck by Damien Ketlo to give Saskatoon a 1-0 lead. The Blades would notch a few more before the end of the period. Travis McEvoy got an easy one, his first of the year when the puck squeaked out from behind the net and he popped into an open goal to give Saskatoon a 2-0 lead. A couple of minutes later, Lethbridge native Lucas Sutter put the Blades ahead 3-0 when he hammered a one-timer between the legs of Ketlo. That's the way the period would end. Saskatoon out shot Lethbridge 18-11 through 20 minutes.
In the second, the Blades would go ahead 6-0 with three quick goals in a span of 2:30 to open the period. Matt Stransky beat Damien Ketlo on the short side, to make it 4-0. That would be it for Ketlo in this game. He was replaced by Liam Liston. Shortly after that Blades would score on their first shot on Liston, when Ryan Olsen banged home a rebound. That made it 5-0. Soon after, Brett Stovin ripped a blast off the post and in to give the Blades a huge 6-0 lead. Lethbridge got one of those back when Cam Braes fired home a shot by Adam Todd for his 7th of the season. That made it 6-1, but Saskatoon wasn't done there. Michael Burns got his second of the game to put the Blades up 7-1 after two periods. It was a rough 40 minutes for the Hurricanes on the road in this one. The shots after two periods favoured Saskatoon 31-29.
In the third, the Hurricanes would cut into that lead a bit more. Juraj Bezuch took a nice pass from Jay Merkley, scoring his second of the season. That made it a 7-2 game. Lethbridge got one more. Graham Hood scored his 3rd on a power play to cut the Blades lead to 7-3. That's as close as the Hurricanes would get in this game. The Hurricanes finished the night 1/3 on the power play and the Blades were 2/6. The shots on goal were close, favouring Saskatoon 38-35.
The Hurricanes have just one victory in their past 16 hockey games and continue to struggle goals and keeping the shots against down. Over the past dozen games, the Canes are giving up an average 35 plus shots a game to their opponents.
Albin Blomqvist was out again with the flu for the second game in a row. he's been hit pretty hard this week by the bug. The Hurricanes had to play with only four defenceman against the Blades. Ryan Pilon was unavailable for this game as his "AAA" team was also in action on Saturday night. Cam Braes moved back to the blueline to play defence versus Saskatoon. Damien Ketlo made his return to the Canes goal in Saskatoon. He missed three weeks with a groin injury and has been chomping at the bit to get back in the line-up.
The Hurricanes are back at home for their next two games. The Canes host the Seattle Thunderbirds Wednesday (Nov. 9). That will be military appreciation night at the ENMAX Centre. The Hurricanes will wear special army-style jerseys for this game. Those jerseys are being auctioned off on-line right now at http://www.hurricanesauction.com/. All the proceeds are going to the Legion's poppy fund and the local military museum. Lethbridge will NOT play on Remembrance Day next Friday, but they will be back in action Saturday (Nov. 12) as they welcome the Tri-City Americans. Next Sunday (Nov. 13), the Canes will play an afternoon game in Calgary against the Hitmen.