The Lethbridge Hurricanes did something Saturday night this team hasn't done in nearly two years, win three games in a row.
The Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert hasn't been very kind to the Hurricanes over the past few seasons, but it was on this night. The Canes got off to another quick start, this time courtesy of Taylor Cooper. He scored at 4:24 of the opening period to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. That was also his second goal of the season.
In the second, the Canes would jump ahead by a pair late in the period when Dexter Bricker got on the score sheet with his 2nd goal of the season to make it 2-0 Hurricanes through two periods of play. Taylor Cooper assisted on the goal as well for his second point of the night.
In the third, the visitors jumped ahead 3-0 when Andrew Neilson scored his first-ever WHL goal on a power play at 12:29. That pretty much put the game away. It looked as if Skinner was on his way to his first Western Hockey League shutout, but with 40 seconds remaining in the game, Jayden Hart beat the Lethbridge rookie goalie to break his shutout bid and cut the Hurricanes lead to 3-1. That's the way this game would end.
The Raiders out shot the Hurricanes 25-24 in what was a fairly close game from start to finish. Lethbridge went 1/2 on the power play and Prince Albert was 0/4. The victory improves the Canes overall record to 4-8-0-1 in 13 games. It's the first time since November 3, 7, 9 of 2012 that the Hurricanes have won three games in a row.
The Hurricanes deserve a tonne of credit. Sure, besides Edmonton these last two victories have come against teams near the bottom of the standings, but a win is a win and that can build confidence for a hockey club that hasn't had much luck winning games the last few seasons. There is no doubt in my mind that Stuart Skinner is the calming force for this group. He is the real deal and it wouldn't shock me in the least if he's not already turning heads of NHL scouts at the young age of 15. Right now, in my opinion he's the Hurricanes MVP and Rookie of the Year by a country mile, although we are only nearing the quarter way point in the season coming up.
The Hurricanes next game is Sunday (Oct. 26) when they travel to Regina to take on the Pats. Regina beat the Canes 6-1 last week in Lethbridge so the Hurricanes will be looking for some revenge in this game. The Hurricanes return home for two games next week to close out October. On Wednesday (Oct. 29) Prince Albert is in town and then Friday (Oct. 31) Reid Duke makes his return to Lethbridge as a member of the Brandon Wheat Kings for a game on Halloween night.