BRANDON, MB - A pair of goals in each of the second and third periods were the difference as ther Hurricanes ended a three game losing skid with a 4-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings.
A much better start to this game for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. They had some very good chances, including three straight power plays, but once the period came to an end they had nothing to show for it. Both the Canes and Wheaties finished the period in a 0-0 tie. Brandon's best chances came in the final minute with a mad scramble in front of the Lethbridge goal, but Damien Ketlo made two outstanding stops to keep the game even after 20 minutes. Shots favoured Brandon 13-12. In that period, Ketlo recorded his 4000th career WHL save.
In the second, the Hurricanes would get another power play and this time they would make good on it. Graham Hood tipped in his 10th of the season to break the scoreless tie and give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. The Canes had a few more solid chances as the period went on too and before the buzzer would sound, they'd add one more. Juraj Bezuch scored his 6th goal of the season in a very similar fashion to Hood's goal to extend the Lethbridge lead to 2-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Wheaties held a slight edge in shots 25-21.
In the third, Lethbridge would make it 3-0. Adam Henry, the Manitoba boy scored his 3rd goal of the season in front of a lot of family and friends to give the Hurricanes a bit more breathing room. A few minutes later, the Wheat Kings would get on the board when Mark Stone banked a shot off the back of Ketlo and in. That cut the Canes lead to 3-1. Not too long after that, Lethbridge would get that one back. Max Moline, in his first game in over four months tipped a point shot between the legs of Boes to make it 4-1 Hurricanes. That was Molilne's first-ever goal in the WHL. The Wheat Kings would get one more before the game would close when Ryan Pulock scored on the power play to make it a two goal game. That's as close as Brandon would get as Lethbridge would skate away with a 4-2 win. The victory ended a 3 game losing skid for the Canes and improved their record to 20-33-0-1 after 54 games this season. The Hurricanes also handed Brandon it's 6th straight loss on home ice. The final shots favoured Brandon 43-34 and Damien Ketlo was the big reason for the win. He was the game's first star. Lethbridge 1/6 on the power play and the Wheaties finished the night 1/3.
Interesting to note, the to goaltenders involved in the October trade between the Canes and Wheaties, Liam Liston and Brandon Anderson didn't play Friday night, but instead played the back-up rolls.
MOLINE BACK IN LINE-UP
For the first time since September 30, forward Max Moline played in a WHL game. Moline suffered a lower body injury during the Canes home opener versus Calgary and needed surgery and has been out ever since. He was a factor scoring in the third period of this game. Jaimen Yakubowski missed Friday's game with the flu. Damien Ketlo, who sat out the loss in Swift Current Wednesday because of the flu was back in goal for the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes will close out this short trip out east with a game Saturday night (Feb. 4) in Regina against the Pats. This will be the third meeting of the season between these clubs. Regina has won both previous match-ups. Game time from the Brandt Centre is 6:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 5:30.