LETHBRIDGE - The Lethbridge Hurricanes gave up the tying goal with less than a minute to go in the 3rd period as the Vancouver Giants came back to win 4-3 in a shootout.
The Vancouver Giants would open the scoring in this game. Nathan Burns tapped in a rebound by Ty Rimmer who made his 17th consecutive start in goal for the Hurricanes. That goal gave the visitors a 1-0 lead. Lethbridge though would get back to even terms not too long after. Graham Hood moved in on a 2-on-1 rush with Russ Maxwell and the Magrath native buried his team-leading 11th of the season. That tied things up at 1-1 and that's the way the period would end. The Giants out shot Lethbridge 12-8 through 20 minutes of play.
In the second, the Hurricanes would grab the lead for the first time. Dan Johnston took a drop pass from Russ Maxwell and fired a shot low, along the ice beating Liston to give Lethbridge it's first lead of the night, 2-1. That was Johnston's 4th goal of the season. Before the end of the period, the Giants would tie the game again. Carter Popoff found a loose puck at the side of the Hurricanes goal and knocked it to even the game at 2-2 after 40 minutes. Vancouver out shot Lethbridge 26-19 through two periods.
In the third, the Hurricanes would grab the lead for a second time when Axel Blomqvist, who's had more scoring chances this season than any other play on this team finally scored his first in the WHL to give Lethbridge a 3-2 lead. It looked like the game was going to end that way, but the Giants pulled the goalie in the final minute and Dalton Sward tipped in a point shot past a screened Ty Rimmer to tie the game at 3-3 and sending things into overtime. The extra period solved nothing so the two teams would have to go into a shootout to decide a winner. Neither team was able to score through 3 rounds of the shootout and in the 4th round, Nathan Burns lifted a backhander over Rimmer to give the Giants a 4-3 come-from-behind victory. Vancouver out shot Lethbridge in this game 36-29. The loss drops the Canes record to 8-7-1-1 on the season and despite the loss the Hurricanes earn a big point. Lethbridge sits with 18 points through 17 games and just 4 points out of first place in the WHL's Eastern Conference.
It really wasn't a hugely exciting game to watch to be honest. Neither team really had that extra jump, especially compared to the Canes last few games. It was a chippy game, though with plenty of things after whistles. Lethbridge went 0/5 on the power play and Vancouver 0/4.
HOME VS. AWAY
Of the 17 games the Hurricanes have played this season, 11 have been at home and just 6 on the road. The Canes are 6-3-1-1 at the ENMAX Centre this season while on the road they sit with a record of 2-4. The Hurricanes will make up for all these home games later in the season with the bulk of their road games coming in mid to late January, the first week-and-a-half of February and almost the entire month of March when they play 6 of 9 games in the final month of the regular season on the road.
The Hurricanes will play game 4 of this current 6 game home stand on Friday (Nov. 2) when they play host to rival Medicine Hat. The Canes and Tigers are battling each other and 8 other teams in a very clogged up and tight Eastern Conference. This will be the 3rd of 8 meetings this season, which each club winning once already. These two Highway 3 rivals have very similar records as well heading into this match-up. Game time Friday night at the ENMAX Centre is 7:00 (MDT). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. The Hurricanes will play host to Saskatoon Saturday.