LETHBRIDGE - Five goals in the first period powered the Edmonton Oil Kings to a lop-sided 10-3 win over the Hurricanes Wednesday night at the ENMAX Centre.
A solid start for the Lethbridge Hurricanes in what turned out to be a very offensive and wide open first period. Just over two minutes in, Brody Sutter ripped home his 9th of the season on the power play to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead early. A few minutes later the Oil Kings would tie things up. Michael St. Croix moved in and fired a nice shot by Damien Ketlo to tie the game at 1-1. Not too longer after that, Edmonton would take the lead for the first time. Kristian Pelss blasted a wrist shot to put Edmonton ahead 2-1. Lethbridge got that one back when Brody Sutter found the back of the net for the second time. He scored his 10th of the season to tie the game at 2-2. Just 11 second later, Edmonton would regain the lead when Josh Lazowski took a drop pass and put puck over Ketlo to give the Oil Kings a 3-2 lead. Edmonton would then jump ahead by a pair. Klarc Wilson tapped the puck into an open net and that made it 4-2 for the visitors. Lethbridge would keep chipping away at the lead. Jay Merkley tagged his 4th of the year to cut the lead to 4-3, but before the end of the period the Oil Kings would jump in front 5-3. Griffen Reinhart blasted a rolling puck by Ketlo on the power play to give the Oil Kings a two-goal lead after 20 minutes. The teams combined for 8 goals in that opening period. Edmonton out shot Lethbridge 13-12.
In the second, the Oil Kings would open up a three goal lead. Michael St. Croix scored his second of the game to make it 6-3 Edmonton. That goal was a big one and took some of the wind out of the Hurricanes sails. The visitors would get one more before the period would come to a close. Jordan Peddle moved in a put a beautiful move on Ketlo, putting a back-hander upstairs on Ketlo to give the Oil Kings and commanding 7-3 lead after two periods. Edmonton held the edge in shots 27-18 after two periods.
In the third, the Canes would make a goaltending change. Liam Liston would start the final period for the Hurricanes. Edmonton though would keep the offence coming with two quick goals to kick off the period in a span of 44 seconds. Curtis Lazar scored to make it 8-3 and then right after that Michael St. Croix banked one in off Liston from behind the goal for his 3rd of the game and that gave Edmonton a 9-3 lead. The Oil Kings would hit double-digits on the scoreboard with a power play goal by Mitch Moroz. That made it 10-3 Oil Kings and that's the way the game would end. It wasn't a pretty outing at home for the Hurricanes on this night. Edmonton out shot Lethbridge 41-26. The power plays finished like this: Lethbridge went 1/4 and the Oil Kings were 2/5. The loss puts an end to the Hurricanes modest two-game win streak. The loss drops the Canes record to 5-19-0-1 on the season.
On the CJOC post-game show, forward Nick Buonassisi said they were not good defensively and the Hurricanes got away from playing physical after the first five minutes of the game, something that's made this team successful over the previous two games last weekend.
The only injured Hurricane is defenceman Daniel Johnston. He was injured last Saturday when he was cross-checked from behind. He'll likely sit out the rest of the week. He's listed as being sidelined for the next 7 to 14 days. Head Coach and G.M. Rich Preston says Johnston hurt his shoulder, but it's nothing serious. Preston was also upset only a two minute minor penalty was given out on that play and no supplementary discipline from the WHL.
The Hurricanes will hit the road for their next two games. On Friday, they head to Red Deer to face the Rebels and then Saturday it's off to Edmonton to play their first game of the season at Rexall Place. Friday's Game in Red Deer is a 7:30 pm (MST) start. The Edmonton game begins at 7:00 pm (MST). All the action can be heard on 94.1 CJOC.