Zane Jones and Jamal Watson each scored twice as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the rival Medicine Hat Tigers 6-5 Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre.
It was the third win in four games under new Head Coach Peter Anholt. It was also the Canes third straight win, something this team hasn't done since October 21, 24, and 25. Sunday evening (Dec. 28) the Hurricanes will try and make it four wins in a row. That's a feat the club hasn't accomplished since November of 2012.
It was a wild first game back from the WHL's annual Christmas break and once again Stuart Skinner was, in the end the difference for Lethbridge in goal. It was a slow start for Lethbridge though in this one. Just 1:20 into the hockey game, Anthony Ast scored to give Medicine Hat a quick 1-0 lead. Just past the midway point in the period, the home side would even the score, thanks to a goal from Miles Warkentine. That was his first of the season to tie the game at 1-1. Just over a minute later, Tommy Vannelli gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead and that's the way the period ended.
In the second, Lethbridge exploded for three straight goals. Jamal Watson scored his 14th of the season at 6:23 to tie the game at 2-2. Just over six minutes later, Giorgio Estephan potted his 3rd goal of the year to give Lethbridge a 3-2 lead. Then before the end of the period, the Canes jumped ahead by a pair when Zane Jones scored on the power play to make it 4-2 Lethbridge after 40 minutes of play.
In the third, the Tigers would get those two goals back in short order. Alex Mowbray scored twice in the first 5:30 of the period and just like that the game was even at 4-4. Lethbridge regained the lead in what was a sea-saw battle all night long. Jamal Watson put home his second of the game and 15th of the season at the 12:00 mark to make it 5-4 Canes. Late in the period, Medicine Hat evened the game again with a power play goal courtesy of Kyle Becker. That tied the game at 5-5, but with less than 90 seconds to go, Zane Jones scored what turned out to be the game winner, getting his second of the night and 17th of the season to make it 6-5 Lethbridge and that's the way this game would end.
The Tigers kept Stuart Skinner busy, out shooting Lethbridge 47-37 on the night. The Canes went 2/4 on the power play and the Tigers 1/3. The victory improves the Canes overall record to 9-20-3-2 as they approach the halfway point in the season which officially hit for the club this coming week. The Hurricanes and Tigers play again Sunday night (Dec. 28) this time in Medicine Hat.