The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off their 2012-2013 preseason with a tilt against their rivals, the Calgary Hitmen.
This was the first game for the Canes while Calgary was 2-0 to start their preseason. The starting lineup for the Canes was Tanner Kovacs in goal, on Defence Albin Blomqvist and Bryton Sayers and the Forwards were Graham Hood, Jay Merkley and Tyler Wong.
Lethbridge managed to get the early jump on the Hitmen as rookie Kolten Olynek (Axel Blomqvist) put the puck behind Mack Shields for a 1-nothing lead just 5 minutes into the game. Lethbridge would outshoot Calgary 14-5 in the opening period but it was the Hitmen who would have the 2-1 lead through 20 minutes. The Canes did have a chance to go up a pair, when Olynek was awarded a penalty shot just 3 minutes after he opened the scoring, but he would be denied a second goal. Calgary would pull even on a tally by Pavlo Padakin (unassisted) and then Brady Brassart would score less than a minute later. The Canes would get a powerplay with under a minute to go in the first, and they’d have a few chances to score, but they couldn’t bury the equalizer and again trailed by a goal through 20 minutes.
Calgary held their 2-1 lead into the middle of the period when Lethbridge would change goalies (Kovacs left after allowing 2 goals on 11 shots) and give the reins to Christopher Tai the rest of the way. Just over a minute into the game for Tai, Brooks Macek would score on the powerplay making it a 3-1 game and two minutes later, Calgary gets some insurance with their 4th goal coming off the stick of Alex Gogolev. Lethbridge had a chance to cut the lead in half but a shot by Tyler Wong went off the post. The game would also start to turn chippy as both teams would start making a steady stream to the penalty box.
In the third, tempers between the two sides didn’t seem to settle down any as penalties continued to mount as did the game misconducts. Again the Canes had a chance to cut the lead in half but Albin Blomqvist rang one off the iron and later in the period, Brady Ramsay was denied by Shields on shot from in close. Both sides would take exception to each other as a number of fights broke out that ended in players being ejected from the game. Calgary would also add to their lead as Brassart and Gogolev would both add their second goals of the game in the Hitmen’s 6-1 win. Final shots favored the Hurricanes 39-30 with Tai giving up 4 goals on 19 shots. Lethbridge would come up empty in 7 powerplay chances while Calgary was 3 for 7 with the man advantage.
Next up for the Canes is two games in two nights this weekend. On Saturday the Canes travel up the highway to play Red Deer (in Innisfail, AB) and on Sunday the Canes head east to play their bitter rivals from Medicine Hat, the Tigers. The next home game for the Canes is Wednesday, September 12th when they host the Tigers at 7:00pm
(From Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)