The Lethbridge Hurricanes battled the Edmonton Oil Kings close all night long, but when it was all said and done, the defending WHL and Memorial Cup Champs held on for a 3-2 victory Friday night at Rexall Place.
The Oil Kings got things going rather early in this game when Brayden Brown scored at the 2:12 mark to give the home team a quick 1-0 lead. The Hurricanes though got that back near the midway point in the period, when Taylor Cooper scored his 11th goal of the season to even the score at 1-1 through 20 minutes of play.
The game remained close all night, despite the shots on goal clock. The Canes best period in this one was the second. Although neither team scored, the shots favoured Edmonton 13-12 and it what was a very evenly played 20 minutes of hockey. The game remained tied at 1-1 through two periods of play.
In the the third, the Oil Kings would get a pair of goals which would turn out to be the difference in this hockey game. Aaron Irving made it 2-1 Edmonton halfway through the period. Then with just under 5 minutes remaining, Brett Pollock scored what would turn out to be the game winner when he beat Skinner at 15:18 of the third period to make it 3-1 Edmonton. The Hurricanes kept battling. In the final minute of the game, Kord Pankewicz scored his 4th of the season to cut the Oil Kings lead to 3-2, but that's as close as the Hurricanes would get. The Oil Kings held on for a 3-2 victory, handing the Canes their 3rd loss in a row and dropping their overall record to 9-23-3-2 through 37 games this season.
It was a busy night in goal again for Stuart Skinner. Edmonton out shot Lethbridge 43-27. Both team struggled with the power play. The Hurricanes went 0/6 and the Oil Kings 0/7.
The Hurricanes return to Lethbridge for a four game home stand which will see them play Red Deer twice, along with Saskatoon and Calgary over the next ten days. The Rebels are at the ENMAX Centre Saturday (Jan. 3). Game time is 7:00 pm MST.