LETHBRIDGE -The Lethbridge Hurricanes erased a late two goal deficit to beat the visiting Saskatoon Blades 5-4 in a shootout Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes got things going first in this hockey game. A perfect passing play from Ryan Pilon, to Craig Leverton to the red hot Jay Merkley and he buried his 8th goal of the season by Andrey Makarov to make it 1-0 Lethbridge. Just over two minutes after that, the Hurricanes would get another one when Captain Graham Hood found the back of the net for his 2nd of the season to make it 2-0 Hurricanes is short order. The Canes had several chances to score a few more including a late 5-on-3 power play, but they would end up taking that two goal lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes. The Canes out shot the Bladces 17-12.
In the second, the Blades would kill off some Lethbridge power play time to start off the period and that would be the start of a big comeback for Saskatoon. Seconds after the penalties had expired, Josh Nichlolls would score for the visitors, cutting the Canes lead to 2-1. Nicholls has had the hot hand for Saskatoon as of late. Six minutes later the Hurricanes would get into a bit of penalty trouble and the Blades would take advantage. Dalton Thrower's point shot would find it's way through a crowd, beating Ty Rimmer to tie the game at 2-2 and then before the end of the period Coaldale's Adam Kambeitz would score on another power play to give the Blades a 3-2 lead. Saskatoon had an excellent second period to erase a two goal deficit and take a one goal lead after 40 minutes of play. Lethbridge still held the edge in shots 33-32.
In the third, the Blades would take a two goal lead halfway through the period when Matej Stransky ripped a hard shot off the post and in to make it 4-2 Saskatoon. It looked like the Blades would skate away with a victory until a late rally by Lethbridge. The Canes would score twice in the final 5 minutes to tie the game. Remi Laurencelle would hammered home his 2nd of the season and then with just over a minute to go Craig Leverton tipped in his 3rd of the season, by a screened Makarov to even the score at 4-4. That would send the game into overtime. The extra period solved nothing so we would go into a shootout for a second time this week. In the shootout Jay Merkley was the only player who found a way to score and the Hurricanes would come back to win a wild game 5-4 in the shootout. Final shots 45-28 Lethbridge in this one. The Hurricanes improve to 10-7-1-1. They've managed 18 out of possible 22 points in their last 11 games.
HURRICANES THIS WEEK
Hurricanes This Week is back on the radio Monday night on CJOC. Joining Fred Jack and myself will be Hurricanes goaltender Ty Rimmer who's the only WHL goalie to play every game this season. He made his 19th consecutive start between the pipes Saturday versus Saskatoon. At the pace he's on, Rimmer could easily set several CHL goaltending records for minutes played and saves by the time the regular season comes to an end. Also on the program, Gregg Drinnan of the Kamloops Daily News and Phil Andrews, the radio voice of the Regina Pats. The show start Monday at 7:00 pm (MST).
The Hurricanes will close out this current home stand on Wednesday (Nov. 7) when they play host to the Victoria Royals. This will be the first of two meetings this season between the two teams. Lethbridge will make the return trip to Vancouver Island in late February for the rematch. Game time from the ENMAX Centre is 7:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. The Canes hit the road after that for games next weekend in Brandon and Regina (Nov. 9 & 10) and then a matinee game in Moose Jaw on Monday (Nov. 12) a1 1:00 pm (MST).