CALGARY - Ty Rimmer was simply outstanding as the Lethbridge Hurricanes stole a 2-1 victory in Calgary against the Hitmen Friday night.
The Hurricanes got off to a very good start with a near perfect period of hockey on the road. The Canes opened the scoring near the halway mark of the period, when Graham Hood picked off a pass at the Calgary blueline and fed the puck to Brady Ramsay who fired home his 10th goal of the season, beating Chris Driedger. That gave Canes a 1-0 lead. Shortly after that the Hurricanes nearly made it 2-0 when Dan Johnston's point shot hit the post. The Hitmen rallied in the final 90 seconds of the period, but Ty Rimmer came up with two key stops to keep the Canes ahead 1-0 after 20 minutes. Lethbridge out shot Calgary 13-7.
In the second, Ty Rimmer put on a goaltending clinic. Calgary woke up big time after a not-so-good first period and bombarded the Lethbridge goalie with shots, but Rimmer managed to make save after save after outstanding save to keep the Canes in the lead. With about 7 minutes to go in the period, Sam McKechnie blocked a shot and stole puck on a breakaway. He froze the Calgary goalie and snapped the puck upstairs for his 17th goal of the season to give Lethbridge a 2-0 lead. That held through to the buzzer. Calgary out shot the Canes 17-5 in that period and 24-18 over through 40 minutes. Rimmer was sensational for the Hurricanes in goal. Also after a very tame opening period, the second turned out to be very chippy.
In the third, the Hitmen would press to get back into the game and late in the period they would cut the Hurricanes lead in half. Brooks Macek broke the shut out bod for Ty Rimmer, beating the Canes goaltender to make it a 2-1 hockey game in favour of Lethbridge. The Hitmen pulled the goalie to try and get the equalizer, but that's as close as they would get and the Canes would skate away with a huge 2-1 victory. Calgary out shot Lethbridge 37-25 in this game. Calgary went 1/6 on the power play and the Hurricanes 0/4. The victory improves the Hurricanes to 18-16-1-4 on the season for 41 points. They temporarily move into 5th place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Saskatoon.
ALBIN BLOMQVIST OUT - ADAM HENRY IS IN
The Canes announced prior to Friday's game that defenceman Albin Blomqvist did not return to the team after the Christmas break. Blomqvist suffered a concussion a few weeks ago and hasn't been feeling well. Head Coach and GM Rich Preston says the decision was made to keep Albin back in Sweden so he could recover and get treatment at home. On the other hand, Adam Henry, who missed 38 games this season, played his first Friday in Calgary. Henry was out after being diagnosed with myocarditis in the off-season, a condition which causes inflation of the heart muscle. After an MRI 10 days ago, Henry was given the red light to resume action. The Hurricanes will also be without Reid Duke and Ryan Pilon who are both playing at the Under 17's in Quebec. Pilon was named Captain of Team West.
The Hurricanes will play the second game of a home-and-away set with the Hitmen Saturday night (Dec. 29) at home as they host Calgary. This will be the 4th of 6 meetings this season between these two Central Division teams. Game time is 7:00 pm. The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.