LETHBRIDGE - Three first period goals helped the Lethbridge Hurricanes to 4-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre.
The Hurricanes got off to a quick start in this game with two goals in the first 4:30 minutes. It was the Sam McKechnie show in the early going. He opened the scoring with his 10th of the season, beating Cole Holowenko to make it 1-0 Lethbridge. Less than two minutes later, McKechnie was back at it again. He hammered home his second of the night and 11th of the season to give Lethbridge an early 2-0 lead. Just past the midway point in the period, Lethbridge would make it 3-0. Jay Merkley took a great feed from Jamal Watson and scored his 12th of the season. That put the Canes ahead by a three spot early. That would also be it for Raiders starting goalie Cole Holowenko. He was pulled in favour of Luke Lee-Knight for the rest of the game. Holowenko allowed 3 goals on just 9 shots. That's the period would end. Lethbridge held the edge in shots, 15-11.
In the second, the Hurricanes would keep the offence coming. Russ Maxwell would get in on the action with a power play goal early in the period, his 10th of the season, rifling a backhander off the crossbar. That made it 4-0 Hurricanes. That goal also ended a 16 game goalless drought for Maxwell. Before the end of the period, the Raiders would get on the board. Anthony Bardaro snapped the puck just under the bar and over the shoulder of Liam Liston to cut the Canes lead to 4-1 after 40 minutes. The Hurricanes held a slight edge in shots, 27-26.
In the third, neither hockey club was able to find the back of the net and that 4-1 lead the Hurricanes had through two periods of play held up right to the end. The win improves the Canes overall record to 22-35-0-1 on the season in 58 games. Lethbridge went 1 for 5 on the power play, while Raiders finished the game 0 for 3. Liam Liston was excellent goal for the Hurricanes in this game. Lethbridge did out shoot PA 41-32.
ELTON JOHN SOLD OUT
I know this isn't hockey related, but I thought I'd throw it on the blog anyway. The Elton John concert taking place in Lethbridge at the ENMAX Centre April 24th, sold out in one hour Saturday morning. ENMAX Centre General Manager Kim Gallucci said it was the fastest-ever sell out for an ENMAX Centre event. There were so many people trying to call in to the ticket centre, the phone lines even crashed for a few minutes. Even some folks who camped out all night beside the building, left empty handed.
The Hurricanes don't play again until Wednesday (Feb. 15) when they host the Brandon Wheat Kings. Each team has won once in the opposing team's rink this year. This will be Brandon's final visit to Lethbridhe this season. The Hurricanes will travel back to Manitoba in early March for the final meeting. Game time Wednesday is 7:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.