LETHBRIDGE - Quinton Howden scored three times and Cam Braes added two assists as the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-3 Wednesday night at the ENMAX Centre.
Moose Jaw would get things going offensively in this game. Halfway through the period, a shot went off the pad of Damien Ketlo and right onto the stick of Eric Arnold who would bury the puck by the Lethbridge goalie to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead. Near the end of the period, the Warriors would get a short two-man advantage and they would make good. Cam Braes found Quinton Howden at the side of the Lethbridge net and he would make no mistake, making it 2-0 Moose Jaw after one period of play. It was all Warriors in the opening 20 minutes as they out shot the Canes 19-5.
In the second, the Warriors would get another one and quick. Just a few seconds in, Cam Braes fed Quinton Howden once again and he would beat Ketlo with a shot between the legs. That was a power play goal and it gave Moose Jaw a big 3-0 lead. A few minutes later, the Canes would finally get on the board. Brody Sutter snapped home his 23rd of the season to cut the Moose Jaw lead to 3-1. Not too long after that, the Warriors were back it. This time, Kenton Miller would get in on the action and extended his team's lead to 4-1, but before the period would come to an end, Lethbridge would score once more. Brody Sutter again, this time his 24th of the season, making it a 4-2 Moose Jaw lead after 40 minutes of play. The shots were much closer, with the Warriors holding the edge 29-21.
In the third, The Hurricanes would press hard to get back into the hockey game and with about 2:30 minutes to go, Lethbridge pulled the goalie and Sam McKechnie scored his 9th of the season to get the Hurricanes to within one. The Hurricanes kept Ketlo on the bench after that to try and get the equalizer and send the game to extra time, but Quinton Howden would end up scoring into an empty goal, getting his third of the game and securing the Moose Jaw Warriors a 5-3 victory. Moose Jaw out shot Lethbridge 40-32. The Canes went 1/2 on the power play and the Warriors finished the night 2/4. The loss drops the Hurricanes overall record to 21-34-0-1.
Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore said on the CJOC post game show that the Hurricanes "didn't start well in this hockey game and that was the difference. We got better as the game went on, but it wasn't a 60 minute effort for us tonight."
Cam Braes made his first return to Lethbridge since being traded to the Warriors a month ago. He told me in a pre-game interview that he was both nervous and excited to be playing at the ENMAX Centre. He said he really wanted a chance to say thank-you to Hurricanes fans for supporting him during his long career in Lethbridge, an opportunity he didn't have before getting dealt January 9th. Moose Jaw Head Coach Mike Stother told me Braes has been everything as advertised and more for the Warriors.
The Hurricanes will play the second game of this five game home stand on Friday night (Feb. 10) when they host the Saskatoon Blades. This will be the 3rd meeting of the season between the two hockey teams. The Hurricanes will host Prince Albert on Saturday (Feb. 11). Lethbridge will welcome Brandon and Regina next week. They don't play on the road again until February 22 in Saskatoon.