SASKATOON, SK. - Brendan Walker scored a pair of goals as the red hot Saskatoon Blades won their 8th game in a row, beating the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-2 Saturday night.
The hometown Blades would open the scoring in this hockey game. Just over 5 minutes into the first period, Brendan Walker fired a shot from between the hash marks which beat Ty Rimmer to give Saskatoon an early 1-0 lead. Not too long after that, the Hurricanes would even things up. Kolten Olynek, on a 2-on-1 rush with Remi Laurencelle scored his first-ever WHL goal to tie the game at 1-1, beating Andrey Makarov in the Saskatoon goal. Before the end of the period though, the Blades would regain the lead when Matt Stransky's shot got by Rimmer to give Saskatoon a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. Shots were 14-9 Blades.
In the second, the Hurricanes kept pace with the Blades and pushed for the equalizer, but with under a minute to go in the period, Brendan Walker would burst in to the the Lethbridge zone and snap a shot over Ty Rimmer to give the Blades a 3-1 lead with 32 seconds remaining in the period and Saskatoon would grab a two goal lead heading into the dressing room through 40 minutes of play. The Blades held a slight 25-21 edge in shots.
In the third, the Blades would jump ahead 4-1 when Nathan Burns buried a shot on a power play. Lethbridge would get one of those goals back with a great individual effort from Ryan Pilon. During a 4 minute Saskatoon man advantage, Pilon stole the puck and lifted a backhander over Makarov for his 5th of the season and also a shorthanded goal, the Hurricanes 9th of the season to cut the Blades lead to 4-2. Saskatoon though would get one more before the final buzzer when Shane McColgan scored to make it 5-2 Saskatoon and that would be the final score. The loss drops the Hurricanes record to an even .500 at 25-25-2-7 for 59 points in 59 games this season. Saskatoon out shot the Hurricanes 39-29. The Blades went 1/6 on the power play and the Hurricanes 0/3.
With only one game in the next couple of weeks, other teams will be playing catch-up to the Lethbridge Hurricanes. As of Saturday night, the Canes have played more games than any other team in the WHL Lethbridge has played 59 games to this point. Teams trying to catch and leapfrog the Hurricanes include Swift Current, Medicine Hat, and Kootenay. The Broncos, Tigers, and ICE each have 4 games in hand on Lethbridge and will make up most of those games during the Canes time off.
HURRICANES THIS WEEK
Our next Hurricanes This Week radio show will take place Monday night (Feb. 11) on CJOC. Joining Fred Jack and I will be Hurricanes forward Sam McKechnie and WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. The program begins at 7:00 pm MST. There will be no radio show on Feb. 18th due to the Family Day holiday.
The Hurricanes have a long and well-needed rest coming up with just one game scheduled in the next two weeks. Their next action is not until next Saturday (Feb.16) when they play host to the visiting Prince George Cougars for their only game on the Alberta Family Day long weekend. I will be away for that game and so will Fred Jack. CJOC's Colby Hayward will be filling in for me on the play-by-play mic for that one game. I'll be back Friday, February 22nd when the Hurricanes host the Rebels.