LETHBRIDGE - The Hurricanes power play scored four times as they beat the visiting Regina Pats 6-4 Friday night at the ENMAX Centre.
Kind of a slow start for the Hurricanes in this game. The Regina Pats got things going when Tyson Stevenson let a soft slapper go, fooling Damien Ketlo and giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. Late in the period, with less than a minute to go Phil Tot tapped home a rebound on a power play tying the score at 1-1. It was Tot's 12th goal of the season. The game remained even after 20 minutes, while the shots were even too at 6-6. The Canes were much more physical in that first period as well compared to their entire last game against Brandon. Head Coach and GM Rich Preston wasn't happy with his team's lack of physical play on Wednesday and it appeared that message was received loud and clear.
In the second, the Hurricanes would take a costly penalty just 5 minutes into the period. Tyler Kizuik had his helmet knocked off, remained playing for a few seconds and because of that he was given a penalty for playing without a helmet. On the ensuing power play, the Pats would make them pay. Just 11 seconds into the man advantage, Dyson Stevenson would score his second of the game, giving Regina a 2-1 lead. A few minutes later, the Pats would take a bad penalty themselves. Luke Fenske leveled Craig Leverton from behind and for that, Fenske got ejected from the game. That put Lethbridge on a 5 minute power play and they would make good, tying the game at 2-2. Brady Ramsay hammered home his 19th of the season to even the score. Before the end of the period, the Pats would get that one back and restore their one goal lead for a third time in the game. Former Hurricane Matt Marantz took the puck behind the Canes goal and banked a shot off of Ketlo and in, to give the Regina Pats a 3-2 lead. After that, the Hurricanes took over offensively with three goals in the final 4 minutes of the period to erase the deficit and take a two goal lead. Brody Sutter notched his 27th of the season on yet another power play tying the game at 3-3. With less than a minute to go, Sutter again took a great feed and scored a highlight reel goal to give the Canes their first lead of the night, 4-3. It was Sutter's 2nd of the game and team-leading 28th of the season. It was also the Hurricanes 4th power play goal on 5 chances in the game. With 5 seconds left in the period, Jaimen Yakubowski knocked in his 12th of the season and just like that a one goal deficit turned into a two goal lead for Lethbridge after 40 minutes of play. The shots were even at 17-17.
In the third, the Pats would make it a one goal hockey game. Martin Marincin kept the puck in at the Hurricanes blueline, made a great move and fired a shot over the glove of Ketlo to cut the Hurricanes lead to 5-4. The Pats pulled the goalie with about 90 seconds remaining, while the Canes were in the penalty box and Tyler Kizuik lifted the puck down the ice and into the empty goal for his 4th of the season, short-handed. That would put the nail in the Pats' coffin as the Hurricanes would skate away with a 6-4 victory. Regina slightly out shot Lethbridge 28-26. The win improves the Hurricanes record to 23- 36-0-1 on the season.
The Hurricanes were full value for this victory. Their physical play I thought really set the tone in this one and their power play, which went 4 for 7 was dynamite. The Pats finished the night 1 for 5 with man advantage. Phil Tot has been a Regina killer this season. In four games, he lead the Hurricanes with 7 points, including a goal and two assists Friday night.
The Hurricanes honoured the families and billet families of the players during Friday's game. The organization will host a special brunch on Sunday for them and then at 2:30 Sunday afternoon, the ENMAX Centre will be open to the public to come watch the players compete in a skills competition. The event is FREE. The first 150 fans will get a set of uncut 2011-2012 Lethbridge Hurricanes hockey cards.
The Hurricanes don't play again until next Wednesday (Feb. 22) when they hit the road for a quick trip to Saskatoon. It'll be the final meeting of the season between the two teams. The Blades hold a 2-1 edge in the regular season series. The Hurricanes have a total of a dozen games to in the season, just 4 of those at home and 8 on the road. The Canes return to the ENMAX Centre next Friday when they host the Kelowna Rockets.