LETHBRIDGE - Damien Ketlo was outstanding between the pipes as the Lethbridge Hurricanes scored twice on the power play and they beat Medicine Hat 3-1 at the ENMAX Centre.
An entertaining period of hockey to open this game at the ENMAX Centre Friday night between these two Highway 3 rivals. Damien Ketlo had an outstanding period of hockey, stopping all 18 shots he faced, including a breakaway from Emerson Etem. The Hurricanes had a few good chances of their own, but they couldn't find a way to get one by Tyler Bunz on the other side. Lethbridge killed off a lengthy 5-on-3 power play for the Tigers to keep the game scoreless after 20 minutes. Lethbridge was out shot 18-8.
In the second, the Hurricanes weathered the Medicine Hat storm early and then opened the scoring on a power play. Phil Tot hammered home his 5th goal of the season to break the scoreless tie and give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. Brody Sutter recorded his 100th career WHL point with an assist. The Tigers continued to press to get the equalizer, but Ketlo came away with a number of sensational saves to keep the Hurricanes in a one goal lead.
In third, the Tigers would tie things on a power play goal by Emerson Etem. He ripped a low shot by Ketlo to even the score at 1-1. A few minutes later, Lethbridge would get that one back on a man advantage of their own. Dan Johnston, in front of the Tigers goal, poked it by Bunz to give the Canes a 2-1 lead. Late in the period, the Canes would add another when Cam Braes scored his 23rd of the year just after a penalty had expired to give the Hurricanes a huge goal and a big 3-1 lead. That's the way this game would end as the Canes would beat the Tigers for the 3rd time in 5 tries this season. The victory also improves the Hurricanes to 12-12 on home ice this season. Lethbridge had an excellent 3rd period as they out shot the Tigers 14-6 and overall 37-32 on the night. The Hurricanes special teams were very special in this game. Lethbridge went 2/4 on the man advantage while the Tigers finished the night 1/6.
The Hurricanes played a very solid 60 minutes from start to finish in this game and as Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore said on the CJOC post game show one the best efforts for this team all season. Cam Braes told CJOC's Fred Jack after the game that "nothing feels better than beating your biggest rival on SHAW TV on a Friday night at home!"
The Hurricanes got back three players from the U-17's Friday. Macoy Erkamps, Craig Leverton, and Jay Merkley played their first game since just before the Christmas break. They missed five games with the Canes.
HALL OF FAME NIGHT
Prior to the drop of the puck Friday, the Hurricanes inducted Jamie Pushor, Jason Ruff, and Bob Barlett in the Hurricanes/Broncos Hall of Fame. Another great job by Dick Gibson and his Alumni Committee.
TRADE DEADLINE APPROACHING
The WHL's trade deadline is Tuesday afternoon. I spoke with Head Coach and GM Rich Preston prior to Friday's game about the deadline. He says General Managers continue to talk and the last week has been busy on the phone.
The Hurricanes play their next six games on the road and won't play back in Lethbridge until January 25th. On Sunday, the Canes head up to Calgary to take on the Hitmen. Game time is 2:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 1:30 After that they held to B.C. for 10 for two games against Prince George and then games in Vancouver, Kamloops, and Kelowna.