Pavel Karnaukhov scored three times as the Calgary Hitmen routed the Lethbridge Hurricanes 9-2 Tuesday night at the Saddledome.
It's second time this season the Hitmen have defeated the Canes by that same score in Calgary.
Stuart Skinner played the entire game between the pipes for the Hurricanes in this game. The Hitmen opened the scoring with three goals in the first period of play. Jordy Stallard got things going at the 6:05 mark to make it 1-0. Then a power play goal from Pavel Karnaukhov put the Hitmen ahead 2-0. Late in the period Connor Rankin scored the first of two goals on the night to put the home side ahead 3-0. The Hurricanes got one of those goals back late in the period, when Tyler Wong put home his 13th of the season to cut the Calgary lead to 3-1 after 20 minutes of play.
In the second, Calgary kept the offence coming. Connor Rankin scored his second of the night, this one a shorthanded goal at 3:06 to make it 4-1 Calgary. A few minutes later, Chase Lang scored on the power play to increase the lead to 5-1. Late in the period the Hitmen scored twice more in a span of under one minute. Pavel Karnaukhov scored his second of the game to make it 6-1 and then seconds later Terrell Draude beat Stuart Skinner and just like that the Hitmen took a commanding 7-1 lead. Lethbridge did get one more goal late in the period when Jaeger White scored his 4th of the season with less than a minute remaining in the period to cut the lead to 7-2 through 40 minutes of play.
In the third, Calgary added two more goals. Adam Tambellini score at 13:24 and the with less than a minute remaining, Pavel Karnaukhov scored his hatrick goal and that would be it. Calgary would win big, 9-2. The Hitmen out shot Lethbridge 43-24 on the night. Calgary went 2/5 on the power play and the Hurricanes 0/6.
The Hurricanes are now officially at the halfway point in the season. Through 36 games, the club's record sits at 9-22-3-2. The Hurricanes record at this same time last year was 5-26-2-3. The Canes have a very busy January with 13 games: 9 at home and 4 on the road. They open 2015 Friday (Jan. 2) on the road in Edmonton and then return home Saturday (Jan. 3) to host the Red Deer Rebels.
The Western Hockey League's trade deadline is also just over a week away. Don't be surprised if the club is active leading up to and on January 10th. Given the Canes current record and where they sit in the standings, it wouldn't shock me in the least to see Head Coach and GM Peter Anholt make a few more moves to get younger, bigger and focus on the future. Time will tell I suppose, but I think a few deals are almost certain.