SASKATOON, SK. - Two quick goals in the 3rd period lifted the Hurricanes to a come back 3-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades Wednesday night.
A strong start for the Hurricanes on the road. The Canes had several good chances in the opening 10 minutes, but the Blades would draw first blood in this game. Ryan Olson took a great feed from Chris Collins and he tapped the puck by Damien Ketlo to give Saskatoon 1-0 lead. That didn't last long. Just over a minute later, Lethbridge would tie things up. Phil Tot found a bouncing puck in front of the Saskatoon goal and knocked it by Andrey Makarov for his 13th of the season, evening the score at 1-1. It appeared that's the way the period was going to end, but a recent problem for the Hurricanes would rear it's ugly head in the final minute, when the Blades scored with 2.3 seconds left to take a 2-1 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes. Ryan Olsen would get credit for his 2nd of the night. Again, the Canes would surrender a goal in the final minute of a period, something that proved costly the last time these two teams played in Lethbridge just over a week ago. The Canes had several good chances to score as they out shot the Blades 16-14.
In the second, the Hurricanes would press hard to get the tying goal and again had some excellent chances to score, but Makarov was a big key for the Blades in the second period, keeping the Canes off the score sheet. Damien Ketlo did his job in the Lethbridge goal as well, preventing Saskatoon from scoring. That 2-1 lead the Blades had after one period, held up through 40 minbutes as well. Lethbridge held the edge in shots 29-24.
In the third, the Hurricanes would begin the comeback. Nick Buonassisi ripped a low point shot along the ice, beating Makarov for his 15th of the season. That tied the game at 2-2. Then just 1:47 later, Lethbidge would take it's first lead of the game. Macoy Erkamps took a pass at the side of the Blades goal and buried his 2nd of the season to give the Canes their first lead of the night, 3-2. Saskatoon would push hard in the final 6 minutes to try and tie the game, but Damien Ketlo shut the door and the Hurricanes would steal two points with a 3-2 come-from-behind win. It was the second time this season the Canes have won a game when trailing after 40 minutes of play. The win improves the Hurricanes record to 24-36-0-1 on the season. This is the most victories the Hurricanes have had in a season since Rich Preston took over as Head Coach and GM two seasons ago. They has 23 total last season and 20 the year before. Saskatoon out shot Lethbridge 43-41 in this game. A very disciplined game by both teams. The Hurricanes went 0/1 on the power play and the Blades finished the game 0/2.
The Hurricanes played without forward Craig Leverton Wednesday night. He suffered an upper body injury after getting checked into the boards from behind in the Canes last home game against Regina. Albin Blomqvist remains sidelined with concussion symptoms stemming from a hit he received in Vancouver back in mid-January.
The Hurricanes have 11 games to go in the regular season. They're back in Lethbridge Friday night (Feb. 24) for one of their final 4 games at home this season. The Canes will play host to the Kelowna Rockets. This will be the rubber match between the two hockey clubs, with the Rockets winning the first meeting and the Hurricanes taking the second game, both in Kelowna earlier this season. Game time from the ENMAX Centre is 7:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.