REGINA, SK -An outstanding goaltending display by Damien Ketlo was the difference as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Regina Pats 3-2 Saturday night.
It was wide open hockey in the first period. Nearly 8 straight minutes without a whistle kept a nice back-and-forth pace to this one. Lethbridge opened the scoring on their first shot of the game just past the mid-way point of the period. Nick Buonassisi's pass was tipped in by Sam McKenchie, for his 8th of the season, giving the Canes a 1-0 lead. Damien Ketlo, making his last start in Regina against his former team was brilliant in goal as the Hurricanes were heavily out shot 16-3. They would take that 1-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes.
In the second, Ketlo continued his stellar play between the pipes. He made several key stops to keep the Pats off the scoreboard. Before the end of the period, and despite being outplayed to this point, Lethbridge would add another goal, this time on a power play. Brady Ramsay fired the puck over Regina goaltender Adam Beukeboom to extend the Canes lead to 2-0 after two periods. The Pats held a large edge in shots 25-10.
In the third, the Hurricanes would increase their lead to 3-0. Nick Buonassisi hammered home his 14th of the season to give Lethbridge a huge three goal cushion. It appeared that perhaps Ketlo was going to be unbeatable, but the Pats would finally solve the Lethbridge goalie when Chandler Stephenson fired a shot over Ketlo and in to cut the Canes lead to 3-1. Late in the period, Regina pulled the goalie and got another one, this time from Dominik Volek to cut the Lethbridge lead to 3-2 and made for a rather interesting finish. That would be as close as the Pats would get on this night as the Hurricanes would hold on for a big 3-2 road win. The shots really told the story about how the Pats dominated the Hurricanes, 47-13, but Damien Ketlo who was the game's first star for the second night in a row was the clearly the difference. Lethbridge went 1/2 on the power play and Regina 0/3. The win improves the Canes record to 21-33-0-1 on the season.
AT THE 3/4 POINT
As of Friday's game in Brandon, the Hurricanes officially hit the 3/4 way point in this WHL season. After 54 games, the Canes sat with a record of 20-33-0-1 for 41 points. Compare that to the same 54 game sample in 2010-2011, the Hurricanes record was 17-26-3-8 for 45 points. More wins this year, but less points. Last season Lethbridge was involved in several one goal losses in either overtime or a shootout. That hasn't happened much at all this season.
The Hurricanes are back at home next week for three games in four nights. On Wednesday (Feb. 8), the Canes host Cam Braes and the Moose Jaw Warriors. On Friday (Feb. 10) the Saskatoon Blades are in town and Saturday (Feb. 11) the PA Raiders are back. All three games are 7:00 pm (MST) starts on CJOC.