The Medicine Hat Tigers got a late third period goal to break open a tie game as they beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 3-2 Friday night at ENMAX Centre.
The game wasn't as close as they score indicated. Medicine Hat out shot Lethbridge 38-18 in this game. Canes goaltender Zac Robidoux had a very solid game against his former team. The Canes were out shot 10-0 at one point in the first period and 16-3 when the horn sounded to end the opening frame. It was scoreless after one.
Despite that though, the Canes did score first in the second when Russian Pavel Skumatov scored his first of two goals on the night. That made it 1-0 Lethbridge. Skumatov then made it 2-0 Canes with his second of the season, but for the Hurricanes that would be the only offence on this night as the Tigers came storming back with three unanswered goals to win it. Kyle Becker cut the Lethbridge lead to 2-1 with a goal in the second period and then late in the period Markus Eisenschmid evened the game at 2-2.
In the third period, the game remained tied until the finial two minutes. That's when Medicine Hat's Connor Hobbs scored on a power play to make it 3-2 Tigers. That happened to be the only power play goal either team would score in this game and that was the difference on the scoreboard.
Both teams were missing key players. The Canes have 5 players out with injury as well as Reid Duke away at Minnesota Wild camp. Medicine Hat went 1/6 on the power play and the Hurricanes 0/5. There was a good crowd on opening night, with just over 4000 fans on hand. The two clubs will do it again Saturday (Sept. 20) when they play in Medicine Hat. The Canes next home game isn't until Wednesday, October 1st when they host the Calgary Hitmen.
Going back to last season, and yes I know that was several months ago and technically has nothing to do with this season, but the Hurricanes have lost 15 straight regular season games. The last time they won was February 12, 2014 when the Canes beat Brandon 3-2 on overtime. The Canes are going to need offence by committee this season. They can't depend on one or two guys to lead the charge. Although the team has a number of returning players from last year, the Canes are still a young squad.
A couple of positives from Friday's home opener for the Canes was the play of Pavel Skumatov who scored twice and goaltender Zac Robidoux. Both are newcomers to the Lethbridge Hurricanes.