EDMONTON - A four goal first period powered the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 6-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes Friday night at Rexall Place.
Certainly not the start the Hurricanes were hoping for on the road. Before the game was even 5 minutes old, the Canes found themselves down 2-0. Just 1:18 into the game, Brett Pollock scored on Edmonton's 1st shot of the game beating Corbin Boes to make it 1-0 Oil Kings. Three minutes later, Edmonton would strike again, this time on the power play when Lane Bauer hammered a shot by Boes making it 2-0 Oil Kings. That was two goals on 4 shots for Edmonton. They had also hit the post twice in the first 5 minutes of the period. The Canes got one of those back when Jamal Watson burst into the Edmonton zone on a breakaway and scored his 10th of the season over Tristan Jarry. That cut the Emonton lead to 2-1. The Oil Kings would keep the offence coming with yet another goal on the man advantage. Mitch Moroz this time found the back of the net making 3-1 Edmonton and then two minutes later the home team would light the red lamp again with goal from Henrik Samuelsson who was left alone untouched in front of Corbin Boes and he made no mistake giving Edmonton a 4-1 lead. Lethbridge would get one more before the buzzer sounded, when Griffin Foulk floated a point shot by a screened Jarry for his 3rd of the season and the cut the Edmonton lead to 4-2 after 20 minutes. The shots favoured Edmonton 20-10.
In the second, the Canes would start the period with a goaltending change. Teagan Sacher would replace Corbin Boes between the pipes and he would be perfect, stopping all 12 shots in faced in the period. The Canes had a couple of decent chances too, but unlike the first period when the teams combined for a total of six goals, there was zero offence in the the second. Edmonton still had the edge in shots on goal 32-18.
In the third, the Oil Kings would score early in the period on yet another power play. Henrik Samuelsson scored his 2nd goal of the night on a nice passing play to give Edmonton a 5-2 lead and then shortly after that the Oil Kings would go to the power play again and they would score their 4th power play goal of the game. Cody Corbett's point shot would find its way through to the back of the net to give Edmonton a commanding 6-2 lead. Before the end of the game the Canes would score again when Reid Duke scored his 5th goal of the season to make it a 6-3 game in favour of Edmonton, but just over a minute later, Edmonton's Henrik Samuelsson would score his third goal of the hockey game to pad the stats for the Phoenix Coyotes first round draft pick and that would give the Oil Kings a 7-3 victory. Edmonton out shot Lethbridge 43-29 in the game. The Oil Kings power play was deadly going 4/6 while the Canes went 1/3. The loss drops the Hurricanes overall record 5-26-2-2 in 35 games this season. The Canes will officially hit the halfway point in this WHL season Saturday night in Red Deer.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes had a few of their prospects skate with them in Edmonton Friday morning. Goalie Stuart Skinner (1st round selection) and defenceman Connor Rokosh (4th round selection), were Hurricanes picks in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. Both players were out at Rexall Place. Skinner was picked 17th overall by the Canes and has been playing with the South Side Athletic Club in Edmonton. Rokosh was selected 74th overall in the same draft also plays with SSAA. The Hurricanes also brought along a player from Red Deer who they recently listed. Andrew Nielsen is a defenceman with the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs and is just over 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. All three players skated with the Canes at Rexall Place.
The Hurricanes next action will be in Red Deer Saturday (Dec. 14) as they take on the Rebels for the 4th time this season. Red Deer leads the season series 2-1, but the Hurricanes won the last meeting 6-0 in Lethbridge earlier this week in what turned out to be a very chippy and penalty-filled affair. Game time from Red Deer is 7:00 pm MST. The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. The Hurricanes return home Sunday for an early afternoon game against Victoria at 2:00 pm.