Goaltender Jayden Sittler was clearly the difference, facing nearly 60 shots as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the visiting Prince George Cougars 7-4 Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre.
The Canes got off to a quick start when Giorgio Estephan scored his 9th goal of the season shorthanded to give the home team an early 1-0 lead. PG tied the game a few minutes later when Josh Connolly scored with the man advantage to even things at 1-1. The Hurricanes though regained their one goal lead when Andrew Nielsen scored his 5th goal of the season on a power play to put the Canes ahead 2-1 after 20 minutes of play.
In the second, the Cougars tied things up fast. Less than one minute into the period, Jansen Harkins beat Sittler to even things at 2-2. Three minutes later the Canes power play struck again. Florian Baltram scored his first of two in the game and 2nd goal of the season to give the Canes a 3-2 lead, but again the sea-saw battle would continue as the Cougars once again came back to tie the game on Jansen Harkins' second of the game and just like that the game was tied up at 3-3. The Hurricanes took control of the game after that with two more goals before the end of the period. Mike Winther got in on the action, scoring his 8th of the season. That made it 4-3 Lethbridge. Then Florian Baltram scored his second of the night and 3rd of the season to put the Canes ahead 5-3 through 40 minutes of play.
In the third is where this game was decided and it was quite the show by goalie Jayden Sittler as the Canes were out shot 28-7 in the final frame. Early in the period, Prince George got back to within one goal when Jared Bethune scored to cut the Lethbridge lead to 5-4. The Cougars continued to pour it on big time, but despite their 28 shots in the period that was the only goal they'd get by Sittler. The Hurricanes added two more goals, one from Kord Pankewicz, his 5th of the season and the other from Tyler Wong, his 19th of the year. That would be it as the Canes win for the first time in six games, ending a 5 game skid. Final score: Lethbridge 7 and Prince George 4.
PG out shot the Hurricanes 58-32 in this game. Lethbridge went 2/5 on the power play and also scored once shorthanded while the Cougars finished the game 1/5. The win improves the Canes to 11-28-3-3 in 45 games this season.
The Hurricanes next action is on the road Tuesday (Jan. 27) in Medicine Hat. They return home Wednesday (Jan. 28) to host Kootenay. On the weekend the WHL-leading Kelowna Rockets come to town Friday (Jan. 30) and then Regina pays a visit on Saturday (Jan. 31). It's a busy week for Lethbridge with four games in five nights.