LETHBRIDGE - Five goal in less than 11 minutes to open the game, powered the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 7-4 victory over the Vancouver Giants Wednesday night.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes opened the flood gates early in this hockey game with four goals in the first 8:04 of the first period. Reid Duke opened the scoring early with his 3rd of the season. That was followed up shortly after with Remi Laurencelle's 4th of the season, making a nice move on the Vancouver goalie and sliding the puck by Jared Rathjen. The Canes would add another one when Mike Sofillas notched his first goal of the season and the Hurricanes opened up a 3-0 lead barely 6 minutes into the period. A minute or so later Lethbridge made it 4-0 when Adam Henry blasted home his first goal of the season on a power play. The Canes weren't done there, shorthanded, Reid Duke was back at it again, this time with a highlight reel goal stealing the puck at the Vancouver line and making a fancy move on Rathjen and lifting the puck upstrair for his 4th of the season, and 2nd of the night to give home team a commanding 5-0 lead, 10:50 into the game. Vancouver would get one of those back when Jackson Houck beat Ty Rimmer on a 5-on-3 power play and that cut the Canes lead to 5-1 after 20 minutes of play. Despite the Hurricanes scoreboard domination, the shots were even at 12-12.
In the second, the Giants would make some big adjustments after a rough first period and stage a comeback. Luca Leone cut the Canes lead to 5-2 with his 1st ever WHL goal, beating Ty Rimmer. Later it was Travis McEvoy who would snap home his first of the year to make it a 5-3 hockey game for Lethbridge and before the end of the period, Anthony Ast would score for Vancouver making it a one goal lead in favour of Lethbridge after 40 minutes of play. Vancouver out score the Canes 3-0 in the period, making for a very interesting finish. The shots were 22-20 Giants.
In the third, the Hurricanes would get back their scoring touch. Jaimen Yakubowski knocked in his team-leading 24th of the season to give the Canes some breathing room again. The Giants pulled the goalie late to try and get back into the game, but Yakubowski would ice the game with his second of night into an empty goal and with his 25th goal of the season that would make it 7-4 Lethbridge. The victory improves the Canes to 21-18-1-5 on the season and now just two points back of the 4th place Red Deer Rebels. Vancouver out shot Lethbridge in this game 32-21. The Canes went 1/3 on the power play and the Giants finished the night 2/3.
The Hurricanes are going to get well acquainted with life on the bus, in hotels, and plenty of chicken and pasta. With 27 games remaining in the regular season, this team will play 19 of those on the road and just 8 at home. It's certainly not the most ideal schedule for any team going into the final two months of the season, but it is what it is. Over the next 9 weeks or so, the Canes will have road trips which takes them to the U.S., out to Saskatchewan and Manitoba, over the Rockies to the Okanagan and Vancouver Island, and a few trips up north to Edmonton and Red Deer.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes hot the road now for their next 5 games and won return home until Friday, January 25th when they host Calgary and then it's back on the road again after that. The Canes will play in Edmonton against the Oil Kings Friday night (Jan. 11). Game time is 7:00 pm MST. The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. Lethbridge plays in Medicine Hat Saturday.