Sam Reinhart showed everyone why he's one of the best players in the Canadian Hockey League and a second overall NHL draft pick.
The Kootenay Captain scored once and added two assists as the ICE doubled up the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-2 Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre. The loss was the Canes 6th in a row.
The visitors opened the scoring in this game when Zak Zborosky beat Canes goalie Zac Robidoux at the 14:59 mark of the first period to give Kootenay a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play. Robidoux made his 7th straight start in goal for the Hurricanes. Stuart Skinner returned from the U-17's earlier in the week, but he has an undisclosed injury and was scratched against the ICE Saturday night. No word on how long he will out of the Canes line-up.
In the second, the Hurricanes evened things up when Captain Jamal Watson was sprung free on a breakaway. He beat Wyatt Hoflin for his 9th goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1. After that it was all Kootenay. The ICE regained a one goal lead 3 minutes later when Sam Reinhart scored to make it 2-1. Just past the midway point in the period, Kootenay made it a 3-1 lead on a power play, thanks to a goal from Luke Philp. Before the buzzer sounded, the ICE would get one more, this time off the stick of River Beattie in the final minute of the period to put the visitors ahead 4-1 through 40 minutes of play. The shots favoured Kootenay 27-9 at that point in the game.
In the third, the score remained at 4-1 until the late stages when the Hurricanes scored a power play goal courtesy of Tyler Wong. That was his 7th of the season and cut the lead to 4-2. That would be as close as Lethbridge got in this game. The final shots were 39-22 ICE. The Hurricanes went 1/2 on the power play and the ICE 1/3. The loss dropped the Hurricanes overall record to 5-12-3-1 in 21 games this season.
The next month leading up to the WHL Christmas break is going to be critical for the Hurricanes. They remain 6 points back on Moose Jaw for 8th place in the Eastern Conference. The Canes must get some wins and make up points if they want to make a push. If they can't, then GM Brad Robson will likely be forced to make some trades prior to the deadline on January10th. The key for me though is the next four weeks. That will more than likely be the determining factor as to whether this team sells before the deadline or adds a few pieces to try and make a run for at least the final spot in the East. There is plenty of work for this team between now and the third week of December, but the time for this team to win is now. That's why head-to-head games against team like the Warriors, ICE, and Raiders are so important coming up next weekend.
The Hurricanes have a busy weekend coming up with three games in three nights. They travel to Cranbrook Friday (Nov. 21) and then it's back home for a pair of games Saturday (Nov. 22) vs. Moose Jaw and Sunday afternoon (Nov. 23) against the Prince Albert Raiders. That is a 4:00 pm MST start time vs. P.A.