REGINA, SK - Three goals in less than a minute to open the second period was the difference as the Lethbridge Hurricanes started off 2014 in fine fashion with a 6-3 victory on the road in Regina.
The Hurricanes, with a depleted line-up opened the scoring on the road in this game. Griffin Foulk's point shot went off a Regina defenceman and past goalie Nick Schneider. That was Foulk's 4th goal of the season making it 1-0 Lethbridge. The Pats came close to tying the game late in the period when Jesse Zgraggen fired a shot off the goal post. The Canes would dodge that bullet and carry a 1-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes. The shots favoured Lethbridge 12-11.
In the second, the Hurricanes would blow the game wide open with three goals in a span of just 52 seconds. Tyler Bell scored his 3rd of the season at the 1:05 making it 2-0 Lethbridge. Just 19 seconds later, Reid Duke notched his 8th goal of the season giving the Canes a 3-0 lead. That would be it for goalie Nick Schneider. He was pulled in favour of Dawson MacAuley. That didn't help much because 31 seconds after that, the Hurricanes would make it 4-0 when Riley Sheen snapped home his 8th of the season. The Canes had scored 3 goals of their first 3 shots of the 2nd period. The Hurricanes kept it coming. A few minutes after that, Riley Sheen would score his second goal of the game when he snapped a shot through the legs of MacAuley, giving Lethbridge a 5-0 lead. Another goaltending change for the Pats following that goal by Sheen. MacAuley out and Schneider back in. Before the end of the period, Regina would score when Kyle Burroughs' point shot beat Corbin Boes to cut the Canes lead to 5-1 after 40 minutes. Regina also held a 29-25 edge in shots on goal.
In the third, the Pats would get another one. Connor Gay managed to jam the puck by Boes to cut the Lethbridge Hurricanes lead to 5-2. Regina would make the game a little more interesting. The Hurricanes were unable to clear the zone when Chandler Stephenson stole the puck and wired a shot by Boes to cut the Lethbridge lead to 5-3. Regina then pulled the goaltender with 2 minutes remaining, but Russ Maxwell would ice the game with an empty netter, scoring his 10th of the season and the Hurricanes would skate away with a 6-3 victory. Regina out shot Lethbridge 49-33. It's the 3rd game in a row an opponent has either surpassed are gotten to within one shot of 50 against the Hurricanes. The Pats were 0/3 on the power play. Lethbridge went 0/2. The victory improves the Canes record to 8-28-2-23 on the season. They also have 5 wins in their last 10 games.
Injury Bug Hitting Hard
The Lethbridge Hurricanes are feeling the impact of the injury bug heading into 2014. The last game of December in Medicine Hat was a very costly one for Lethbridge, as three players went down with injury. Captain Josh Derko is likely out for an extended period of time after hurting his knee when his skate caught a rut on the ice December 29th. In the same game, goaltender Teagan Sacher left the ice with an upper body injury after being run into by the Tigers' Blake Penner. He'll be out a few games and leading scorer Tyler Wong also suffered an upper body injury when he took a hit in that same game. With a lack of forwards, the Canes called up prospect Jaeger White from Medicine Hat for this Saskatchewan road trip. No word on how long those players will be sidelined with injury. Going into the game in Regina, the Hurricanes only had 17 healthy skaters including White. Also with Sacher out, the Hurricanes recalled goalie Jonny Hogue from AHJL Drumheller to back-up Corbin Boes.
The Hurricanes will play their final games of the season in both Prince Albert and Saskatoon this weekend. The Canes will head to PA Friday (Jan. 3) and then close out this quick trip to Saskatchewan with a game Saturday evening (Jan. 4) in Saskatoon. The Hurricanes lost both their previous games when they last visited the Raiders and Blades a few months ago. Game time both nights is 6:00 pm MST. The pre-game show on CJOC at 5:30. The next home game for Lethbridge is next Wednesday (Jan. 8) when they host the Kootenay ICE.