LETHBRIDGE - Damien Ketlo was outstanding in the Lethbridge goal as the Hurricanes beat the visiting Saskatoon Blades 6-3 at the ENMAX Centre Saturday night.
The Hurricanes would get on board first and early in this one. Reid Duke would make a great off-wing pass to Sam McKechnie who would bury his 4th goal of the season to give Lethbridge a quick 1-0 lead. Damien Ketlo was outstanding in the Lethbridge goal in that opening period, stopping all 23 Saskatoon shots he faced. Late in the period, the Blades had thought they had tied the game, but after video review the goal was disallowed after it was directed in with a skate.
In the second period, in the Hurricanes would make it 2-0. Nick Buonassisi threw the puck at the Saskatoon goal, banking it off a Blades' defender and by Adam Todd and into Saskatoon goal to give the Canes a two goal lead. Sasktoon though would come charging back with two goals in 41 seconds. First, Josh Nicholls found the back of net by Damien Ketlo and the right that after Dalton Thrower beat Ketlo on the shortside to quickly tie the game at 2-2. Lethbridge would regain it's one goal a few seconds later. Russ Maxwell fired home his 6th of the season to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. Three goals scored between the two teams in a span of just 67 seconds. Saskatoon out shot the Canes 39-21 through two periods of play.
In the third, the Hurricanes would keep it coming with a couple of quick goals to start the period. Jaimen Yakubowski would score his 3rd of the season and then right after that, Jay Merkley would get his 6th of the year and just like that, Lethbridge would increase it's lead to 5-2. The Blades would get one of those back. Matej Stransky unloaded a shot that beat Ketlo, cutting the Hurricanes leads to 5-3. The Blades pulled the goalie late to try and get back into the game, but Cam Braes would ice the game for Lethbridge with an empty-netter for his 13th goal of the season. That would be it as the Canes would skate away with a 6-3 win. Damien Ketlo was brilliant in the Hurricanes goal, as Saskatoon out shot Lethbridge 55-34. The Canes went 1/5 on the power play and Saskatoon went 0/3. The win improved the Hurricanes record to 9-20-0-1 on the season. Lethbridge has won three games in a row for the first time this season and have now won 6 of their last 8 games.
Hurricanes Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore said on the CJOC post-game show that Ketlo's goaltending perfomance against the Blades was the best he's seen iby a Lethbridge goalie in his time as a coach with this team.
The Hurricanes got back one of their wounded defencemen Saturday. Macoy Erkamps returned to the line-up after missing the last week of action. The Hurricanes also called in a couple of draft picks to play. Reid Duke played his third straight game with the Hurricanes and his 5th already this season. The Canes also brought in Tyler Wong from the UFA Bisons. It was his first WHL regular season action. Wong had a 101 points as a Bantam last year and has 14 points in 13 games in Midget AAA. Like Duke, the Hurricanes are hoping for big things from Wong in the years to come.
The Hurricanes will host the Spokane Chiefs at the ENMAX Centre Sunday night at 6:00 (MST). This will be the last of the U.S. Division teams to roll through Lethbridge this season. Fred and I will have the pre-game show at 5:30. After that, the Hurricanes hit the road next week for games in Kelowna Wednesday (Dec. 7), Friday (Dec. 9) it's off to Vancouver Island to play the Royals in Victoria, and then next Saturday (Dec. 10) the Hurricanes will play the Giants in Vancouver, looking for their first win against the Giants in nearly 7 season. All games on the B.C. road trip start at 8:00 pm (MST).