EDMONTON - A five goal explosion in the second period lifted the Oil Kings to a 6-3 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes Wednesday night at Rexall Place.
The Hurricanes knew they'd be in tough against the Oil Kings, a team that had a home record of 16-3 going into this game and they did a fine job weathering the storm. Edmonton came out gunning, but Damien Ketlo turned away every shot he faced. Despite being outplayed, the Canes opened the scoring mid-way through the period, when Nick Buonassisi's shot went off goaltender Laurent Brossoit and onto the stick of Cam Braes. He tapped it in for his team leading 22nd of the year to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. That held up as the only goal in the opening 20 minutes. Ketlo was great in goal as the Hurricanes were out shot 19-5.
In the second, the Oil Kings would make short order of that 1-0 Lethbridge and blew the game open with five goals. Edmonton scored two goals in 1:34, on their first two shots of the period to quickly take a 2-1 lead. First, Klarc Wilson beat Ketlo between the legs just 44 second into the period and shortly after that T.J. Foster fired a shot that beat Ketlo to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead. The Canes got that back soon after, when Reid Duke stole puck off an Oil Kings turnover and made a pretty move to beat Brossoit and tie the game at 2-2. Edmonton though would take over after that with three more goals. In final 12 minutes of the period, Cole Benson, Michael St. Croix, and Dylan Wruck all scored to give the Oil Kings a 5-2 lead through two periods.
The Hurricanes did better in the shots on goal department, but Edmonton still held the edge in shots 31-22.
In third, Liam Liston would start in goal for the Hurricanes. Liston played well in relief, but he did allow one goal. With about 7 minutes to go, Mitch Moroz sealed the game with a power play goal. That made it 6-2 Edmonton. The Hurricanes would get one more before the end when Landon Oslanski scored his 5th of the year on the power play to cut the lead to 6-3, but that's as close as the Canes would get on this night. Lethbridge was out shot 41-33. The Canes went 1/4 on the power play and Edmonton finished the game 1/2.
A milestone in this game for Cam Braes with a goal and one assist. Those two points give the Hurricanes Captain 200 in his WHL career. Both teams played a disciplined game with only a few power plays combined, but for Lethbridge it was the second period that was the difference. The loss drops the Canes overall record to 15-26-0-1. Lethbridge has been pretty much a .500 team at home with a record of 11-12, but on the road things have been different. Away from the ENAMX Centre, the Hurricanes have just 4 wins in 19 games.
The Hurricanes played with a shortened bench last night. With three players still away at the U-17's and Brady Ramsey and Spencer Galbraith out with injury, the Canes called up forwards Reid Duke and Tyler Wong to play in Edmonton. It was Duke's 7th game with the Hurricanes and Wong's 3rd this season. Jay Merkley, Craig Leverton, and Macoy Erkamps will be back in the Lethbridge line-up Friday night.
The Hurricanes are back home Friday night to host the Medicine Hat Tigers. This will be 5th meeting of the season between the two rivals. The Hurricanes will also hold their Alumni Induction ceremony prior to the game as the organization installs Jamie Pushor, Bob Bartlett, and Jason Ruff into the Hurricanes/Broncos Hall of Fame. Fans are asked to be in their seats by 6:45 pm for this game as the induction ceremony will begin at 6:50. This game will also be broadcast on SHAW and because it's a TV game, the ceremony has to start and be finished shortly after 7:00. This will be the Canes last home game for two weeks as they will play their next 6 straight away from the ENMAX Centre.