CALGARY - The Lethbridge Hurricanes scored three times in the opening period en route to a 5-2 victory over the Hitmen at the Saddledome Wednesday night.
The Hurricanes got off to a great start on the road in this game. The game was barely 5 minutes old and the Canes had jumped out to a 2-0 lead. 2:10 into the period, Jaimen Yakubowski snapped a shot off the goal post and in, beating Chris Driedger and giving Lethbridge a 1-0 lead on it's first shot of the night. It was Yakubowski's 16th goal of the season. A few minutes later, the Hurricanes would make it 2-0 with a power play. A shot by Yakubowski was stopped by the Calgary goaltender, but the rebound went right out to Russ Maxwell who buried his 12th goal of the year to give the the Canes a two goal lead. Calgary would get one of those back, when rookie Victor Rask cut the Hurricanes lead to 2-1. Before the end of the period, the Hurricanes would score again, this time Graham Hood would make it a 3-1 hockey game with his 15th of the season in what was his 250th career WHL game. That lead would stick through 20 minutes. Calgary held the edge in shots 13-10.
In the second, the Hitmen would get back to within one very quickly. Just 49seconds into the period, Trevor Cheek snapped one by Damien Ketlo to make it a 3-2 game in favour of the Hurricanes. That didn't last too long. Just a few minutes after that, the Hurricanes would get that one back. From behind the Calgary goal, Sam McKechnie banked the puck off the goaltender Dreidger and in for his 13th of the season. That made it 4-2 Lethbridge. That would be for Dreidger who surrendered 4 goals on 15 Lethbridge shots. Brandon Glover would come off the bench in relief and would play the rest of the game. Calgary was out shooting the Hurricanes 26-19 after two periods of play.
In the third, the Hurricanes would extend their lead by three. Jamal Watson turned on the jets and fired the puck into Glover, who carried it right into the Calgary goal. After a short video review, the goal stood and Watson would record his 5th of the season and give the Hurricanes a 5-2 lead. Calgary pulled the goalie with 3:30 left in the game to try and get back into it late, but the Hurricanes managed to hold off the push and win the game 5-2. Lethbridge was out shot 39-28 as Damien Ketlo was again extremely good in goal for the Hurricanes. Lethbridge went 1/5 on the power play while Calgary finished the night 0/3. The victory improves the Hurricanes overall record to 28-41-0-1 for 57 points in 70 games.
Craig Leverton, who's been sidelined for nearly a month with an upper body injury could slip back into the Hurricanes line-up this weekend. I spoke with Albin Blomqvist in Calgary. He says he's starting feel better. He's been out with a concussion since mid-January. Brady Ramsay is also feeling better, but is not likely to play in the Hurricanes final few games.
The Hurricanes will head to Red Deer on Friday (Mar. 16) for their second-last game of the season. The Rebels, like the Hurricanes went on a long losing streak earlier this season that proved to be the reason why they'll be spectators this upcoming post-season as well. Game time from Red Deer is 7:30 pm (MDT). The pre-game show on CJOC at 7:00. The Canes will close out the season Saturday (Mar. 17) in Medicine Hat.