The Kamloops Blazers scored in the final minute of the 3rd period and then earned the extra point in a shootout after beating the Lethbridge Hurricanes 3-2 Friday night at the ENMAX Centre .
Stuart Skinner was brilliant once again in goal despite the loss as he faced nearly 50 shots for a second straight game.
The visitors opened the scoring in this game when Josh Connolly beat Skinner at the 7:22 mark of the first period to give Kamloops a 1-0 lead. That would be the only offence in this hockey game until in the final period of play.
The Hurricanes finally tied the game on a power play, when Riley Sheen scored his second of the season at 11:59 of the 3rd period to even the game at 1-1. The Canes then grabbed the lead with two minutes to go as Captain Jamal Watson scored his 3rd of the season to make it 2-1 Lethbridge. It appeared the Canes were heading to their second win in a row, but the Blazers had other ideas.
Kamloops pulled the goalie with under a minute to go and Matt Needham scored at 19:19 of the 3rd period to tie the game at 2-2, sending the contest to overtime. The extra period solved nothing and for a second consecutive game, the Canes would head to a shootout to decide a winner. This time though, the Blazers would get the victory and skate away with a 3-2 win. Despite the loss, the Hurricanes earn a single point. Their overall record drops to 1-3-0-1 on the season.
As mentioned, Skinner was the reason the Canes stayed in thee hunt in this game as Kamloops out shot Lethbridge 45-29. The Canes need to get a handle on the shots on goal. It was a problem last year and it is once again this season so far. Over the first 5 games, Lethbridge has been out shot a combined 220-126 by their opponents. That averages out to giving up 44 shots against a game. That's way too much for these young goaltenders to handle on a regular basis. On the flip side, the Canes are averaging just 25 shots for. That number has to go up and the shots against must come down. If the Canes want to have a chance to win each night, they can't be giving up that many shots.
The Hurricanes are now on the road all next week with 3 games in 4 nights in BC. The play in Prince George Wednesday (Oct. 6), Friday it'll be a rematch in Kamloops, and Saturday a game against the so-far unbeaten Kelowna Rockets. The Canes don't play again at home until October 17th when the host Victoria.