LETHBRIDGE - A late goal in the second and an early goal in the third broke open a one goal and lifted the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 5-2 win over the Hurricanes Thursday night at the ENMAX Centre.
A great start for the Hurricanes in this game. Just a few minutes in, Cam Braes stole the puck away from Matthew Konan and flipped it across to Brady Ramsey who buried it for his 14th goal of the season. That gave Lethbridge a quick 1-0 lead. Braes recorded his 100th career WHL assist on that goal. A few minutes later the Tigers would tie things up and then ended up taking the lead with a couple of quick goals. Trevor Cox put the puck over Damien Ketlo who was down and out in his crease to tie the game at 1-1 and then a couple of minutes after that, Kale Kessey banged home the loose puck to give Medicine Hat a 2-1 lead half way through the opening period. That score held up for the rest of the period. The Tigers held a slight edge in shots at 9-8 after one.
In the second, both teams continued to go at each other as the Canes tried to get the equalizer and it appeared that 2-1 score for Medicine Hat would last into the third period, but the Tigers would get a huge goal with just 15 seconds remaining in the second when a long shot from Matt Konan went off the crossbar and beat Damien Ketlo to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead heading into the dressing room. Medicine Hat continued to hold the edge in shots at 19-17 after 40 minutes.
In the third, the Tigers would increase their lead with an early goal on a 5-on-3 power play. Curtis Valk tapped the puck by Ketlo to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead and then a few minutes later on another man advantage, Hunter Shinkaruk blasted the puck home to give Medicine Hat a 5-1 lead. Lethbridge got more back when Sam McKechnie scored his 5th of year to cut the Tigers lead to 5-2, but that would be it for Lethbridge in this one. Things got pretty chippy late in the period when the Hurricanes took a number of penalties, giving the Tigers four two-man power plays in that final period. The Tigers out shot Lethbridge 36-26. Medicine Hat finished the game 2 for 9 on the power play and Lethbridge went 0 for 3.
The loss ended the Hurricanes six game winning streak on home ice. Their record now sits at 14-24-0-1 for 27 points. With Prince Albert winning Thursday, the Canes fall back to last place in the Eastern Conference. On the CJOC post-game show, Sam McKenchnie said the Hurricanes let up after that first goal they scored early in the first and allowed way too many odd-man rushes in this game.
CANES UPDATE FROM THE MAC'S
The Greater Vancouver Canadians faced the Saskatoon Blazers and goalie Christopher Tai would come in relief of teammate Nathan Alalouf who made 25 saves. Tai made 6 saves in relief as the Canadians lost 4-2 to the Saskatoon Blazers. Forwards Carter Amson and Chris Thorimbert were held off the scoresheet in the Blazers win. The Prince Albert Mintos rolled to their 3rd straight victory with an 8-1 win over the York Simcoe Express. Lethbridge Hurricanes 2011 3rd round bantam pick, Bryton Sayers, registered a goal in the victory. Canes Defenceman Ryan Pilon was held pointless as his Beardy’s Blackhawks knocked off the Vancouver NW Giants. Beardy’s jumped out to a 4-0 start before the Giants started their comeback which ultimately fell short in a 7-5 loss. The UFA Bisons rebounded from a 4-2 deficit to beat the Edmonton SSAC Athletics 6-4. Canes draft picks Tyler Wong and Lenny Hackman each registered an assist in the Bisons win. The Calgary Royals, featuring 1st round draft pick, Reid Duke, lost 3-2 to St. Albert.
(Info provided by Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)
The Hurricanes and Tigers will go at one more time Friday night (Dec. 30) in Medicine Hat. It'll be the final game of 2011 for the Hurricanes. Game time is 7:30 (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 7:00. The Canes will open 2012 at home on Monday (Jan. 2) when they host the Kootenay ICE.