CALGARY - The Calgary Hitmen unloaded for three goals in the first period and that powered them to a 5-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes Saturday night at the Saddledome.
The Hurricanes did a good job weathering the storm early at the Saddledome, but Calgary scored a pair of very quick goals midway through the period in a span of 32 seconds to change the game. Pavel Padakin found the back of the net, beating Corbin Boes to make it 1-0 Calgary and then right off the draw at centre ice, the Hitmen would score again, this time Jake Virtanen made it 2-0 Hitmen, not even 10 minutes into the game. Before the end of the period, the Hitmen would go up by a three spot, when Radel Fazleev's point shot would beat a screened Boes to give the home team a 3-0 through 20 minutes of play. Calgary held a 10-4 edge in shots on goal.
In the second, the Hurricanes would score early. Giorgio Estephan took nice feed from Reid Nemeth and snapped home his 5gth goal of the season. That cut the Calgary lead to 3-1. The Canes really settled down after giving up three goals in the first period. They had a number of good scoring chances and out shot the Hitmen 9-7 in the period and were the better team in that period. Calgary though ended up holding on to the 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. Teh shots favoured the Hitmen 17-13, it was certainly anything but an offensive game to this point.
In the third, the Hitmen would regain their three goal lead. 1:47 into the period, Jake Virtanen would score his second goal of the night, this time on the power play to give Calgary a 4-1 lead. The Hurricanes would keep chipping away at the lead and a few minutes later, on a 5-on-3 power play, Taylor Cooper rifled home his first as a Hurricanes and 8th of the season to cut the Calgary lead to 4-2. Calgary though got that back late in the period, when Alex Roach found the back of the net and the Hitmen would go on to win the game 5-2. The game was fairly evenly play. Calgary out shot the Canes 30-26. The Hitmen went 1/6 on the power play and the Hurricanes 1/3.
The loss drops the Hurricanes record to 4-24-2-2 for 12 points in 32 games. They have two wins in their last 20 games. The Canes are nearly half way through their 2013-2014 WHL schedule and will hit the official halfway point in their season this coming week.
Hurricanes This Week
The Hurricanes head into thee second week of December with their busiest stretch of hockey this season. The Canes will play 5 games in 6 days. Red Deer and Calgary coming to Lethbridge Tuesday and Wednesday (Dec. 10-11) and then the Hurricanes will head to Edmonton on the weekend where they will take on the Oil Kings Friday (Dec. 13) and in Red Deer Saturday (Dec. 14). The Canes will then return home Sunday (Dec. 15) for an early afternoon game at 2:00 pm against the visiting Victoria Royals.