MEDICINE HAT - Two power play goals by the Tigers and some late penalties by the Hurricanes lifted the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes Friday Night.
A rather quick start to this game for the Medicine Hat Tigers. Just a couple of minutes in, the Hurricanes took a penalty and the Tigers made them pay. Jayden Hart took a pass from the corner and buried it behind Damien Ketlo to give Medicine Hat a quick 1-0 lead on the power play. The Tigers continued to pour it on as the period continued, but Ketlo settled down nicely and held home side off the score sheet. Medicine Hat took that 1-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes and held the edge in shots 14-9. The Canes had a few chances in that period, but just find a way to beat Tyler Bunz.
In the second, the Hurricanes came close to evening up the score on a two-man power play, but Brody Sutter rang one off the goal post and that was as close as they would get. Just after that on a 4-on-4 situation, the Tigers jumped ahead 2-0. Kale Kessey tipped the puck by Ketlo giving Medicine Hat a two goal lead. That goal didn't take the wind out of the Canes sails. Not too long after that, Lethbridge finally found it's way onto the scoreboard. Jaimen Yakubowski took a bank shot off the boards behind the Tigers goal and popped it by Bunz for his 8th of the season. That cut the Tigers lead to 2-1 after 40 minutes. The shots were dead even at 23-23 through two periods of play.
In the third, the Hurricanes continued to press to find the equalizer and came close several times, but they would again get into penalty trouble in the late stages after they received an unsportsmanlike conduct and a bench minor when Head Coach Rich Preston was ejected from the game for arguing calls with the officials. Right after that, the Tigers would score what turned out to be the game winner on a 5-on-3 power play. Curtis Valk wired a shot by Ketlo to give Medicine Hat a 3-1 lead. A minute or so later though, Lethbridge would get back to within one, when Adam Henry's point shot beat Bunz to make it a 3-2 game. That was Henry's 2nd of the year. The Canes pulled to goalie to try and tie, but it wouldn't happen on this night as they would fall 3-2. The Canes out shot the Tigers 31-28 in this one. Lethbridge went 0/4 on the power play and the Tigers finished the game 2/9. The Tigers had a total of 18 power plays in back-to-back games against Lethbridge this week. The Hurricanes have now lost three straight since coming back from the Christmas break.
The Hurricanes got one defenceman back from injury Friday, but lost another. Tyler Kizuik had missed the passed few weeks with a concussion and finally returned to the Lethbridge line-up. Spencer Galbraith is now sidelined with a concussion. He suffered the injury Thursday night and will miss the next few games.
Hurricanes Update From the U-17's
Three members of the Lethbridge Hurricanes are used to battling every night for each other, but at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ontario they’re forced to go head to head. Hurricanes Defenceman Macoy Erkamps and Forward Jay Merkley are suiting up for Team Pacific which is led by former Hurricanes Coach Michael Dyck, while Forward Craig Leverton and prospect Remi Laurencelle play for Team West.
The tournament kicked off Thursday with Team West playing Team Pacific in the final game of the day and Team Pacific came out on top 5-2 in the all-Canadian battle. West opened the scoring 5 minutes into the game, but Pacific would even things up after the first period thanks to Erkamps who tied it up at the 17:09 mark. Pacific added two more goals early in the second before West responded on a powerplay goal by prospect Remi Laurencelle who made it 3-2. Pacific led the game 4-2 through 40 minutes and in the final minute of the game; they added an empty netter to seal the victory.
(Info from Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)
Hurricanes Update From the Mac's
Lethbridge Hurricanes 1st round draft pick Reid Duke put on a show for his Calgary Royals in their 6-2 win over the Vancouver NE Chiefs. Duke was named player of the game after scoring a pair of goals and chipping in 3 assists. Hurricanes Assistant GM, Brad Robson said Duke was “very good, a one man wrecking crew, as everything went his way.” The Saskatoon Blazers got a goal from 2010 10th round pick Chris Thorimbert as they edged the Calgary Flames 6-4. Another 2010 pick (9th round), Lenny Hackman picked up an assist in the UFA Bisons 3-1 win over Sherwood Park. In other action, the Saskatoon Contacts were 4-1 winners over the West Valley Hawks. Kolten Olynek with a goal and an assist in the win and Robson said “he was very good, he played with lots of speed and energy.” Brandon Scheidl also impressed Robson saying “he was good and played with lots of confidence.” One of the other stories from the Mac’s has been the amount of shots Hurricanes listed Goalie Christopher Tai has faced. In his first two games, he faced nearly 100 shots and today he faced another 41 and gave up just 2 goals. Tai’s Greater Vancouver Canadians tied the Red Deer Rebels 2-2 and Tai was named player of the game.
The Prince Albert Mintos finished the round robin a perfect 4-0, UFA was 3-0-1, while Beardy’s, Saskatoon Contacts, Blazers and Royals all finished with 2 wins. Red Deer was 1-1-2 and Vancouver was 0-3-1. Playoffs start Saturday morning with the UFA Bisons, PA Mintos and Beardy’s into the Quarterfinals, the tournament wraps up on Sunday.
(Info from Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)
The Hurricanes will play four games next week to open 2012, two at home and two on the road. On Monday (Jan. 2), the Canes will host the Kootenay ICE at the ENMAX Centre, Wednesday (Jan. 4) it's off to Edmonton, then on Friday (Jan. 6) back home to face Medicine Hat once again, and then Sunday (Jan. 8) on the bus and up to Calgary for a late afternoon game (4:00 pm) against the Hitmen.