LETHBRIDGE - A huge first period helped the Lethbridge Hurricanes to 6-1 victory over the Regina Pats Friday night at the ENMAX Centre.
It didn't take long for the Hurricanes to get going in this game and they blew things wide open early. Three minutes into the period, Reid Duke fired a pass off the half wall right to Jamal Watson who buried his 4th of the season to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead Shortly after that, the Canes would go up by a pair when Russ Maxwell knocked home his 10th of the season on the power play to give Lethbridge a quick 2-0 lead. They weren't done there. Jay Merkley would extend his point scoring streak to 7 games when he scored his 5th of the year. That made it 3-0 Hurricanes less than 10 minutes into the game. The Pats called a timeout after that, it seemed to work as Colton Mayor moved in a lifted a backhander over Rimmer to cut the Canes lead to 3-1. Before the end of the period, the Canes would get one more on yet another man advantage, this time Sam McKenchnie tap in his 9th goal of the season to give the home team a commanding 4-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. The Canes dominated Regina in this period, out shooting the Pats 20-4.
In the second, the Pats would come out with a goalie change as Matt Hewitt would replace Teigan Sacher who allowed those 4 goals back in the first period. That didn't make much of a difference for the Pats. Jamal Watson soon scored his 2nd of the game and 5th of the season to extend the Hurricanes lead to 5-1. Regina really couldn't find an answer to the Hurricanes play through 40 minutes. Lethbridge out shot the Pats 24-10 in that period and 44-13 through two periods of periods.
In the third, the Hurricanes would get one more on the man advantage when Ryan Pilon's shot went off a Regina defenceman and in to give the Canes a 6-1 lead. That put the nail in the Pats coffin. When it was all said and done, the Hurricanes would out shoot Regina 55-29 in this game. Lethbridge went 3/7 on the power play and Regina 0/5 with the man advantage. The victory improves the Hurricanes record to 7-7-1 on the season. It was an outstanding effort from the Hurricanes from start to finish in this hockey game and were full value for the victory. The Canes have won 4 of their last 6 games.
Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore said it plain and simple on the CJOC post game show.........."that was fun to watch!". I don't know if I could've said it any better myself. This team has done a complete 180 in the past 3 weeks. They're scoring plenty of goals, getting great goaltending, the power play has been clicking lately, and the confidence level is probably the highest it's been with this team in the last 3 years.
KEY HOME GAMES
Head Coach and GM Rich Preston talked about the importance of this home stand during the pre-game show Friday. "We have to make hay here at home. It's imperative we take advantage of our schedule because it's tough to win on the road. That's way these 6 home games are so important. You've got to win your home games. You don't want to sit in a spot where you're fighting during each home game."
The Hurricanes will play game two of this current home stand on Saturday (Oct. 27) when they host the visiting Swift Current Broncos. The Canes blanked the Broncos 4-0 in Swift Current earlier this week. Game time is 7:00 pm MDT. The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. The Hurricanes will have a few days off after this game and will be back in action Tuesday (Oct. 30) as they welcome the struggling Vancouver Giants to town.