The Lethbridge Hurricanes had a 2-0 lead slip away as they fell 5-3 to the visiting Swift Current Broncos Friday at the ENMAX Centre.
It was the Canes final home game of the 2014-15 WHL season. It was an important win for the Broncos as well as they stay two points ahead of Moose Jaw for the final playoff spot in the East Division.
The Canes got off to a good start in this game. Mike Winther opened the scoring at 7:41 with his 15th goal of the season, making it 1-0 Lethbridge. A few minutes later the Hurricanes jumped ahead by a pair of goals, thanks to Giorgio Estephan's 23rd of the season. That put the Canes in front 2-0 after one period of play.
In the second, the Broncos came charging back to take the lead, by scoring four times under nine minutes. Jake DeBrusk cut the Canes lead to 2-1 less than a minute into the period. Then former Hurricane Jay Merkley tied the game for Swift Current at the 6:00 mark make it a 2-2 game. Less than two minutes after that, DeBrusk scored again, his second of the night to give the visitors their first lead of the night 3-2 and then one minute later Andreas Schumacher scored and just like a two goal deficit turned into a two goal lead for the Broncos through 40 minutes of play.
In the third, DeBrusk completed the hatrick, scoring his third of the game to put Swift Current ahead 5-2. Lethbridge got one more before the end of the game. Captain Jamal Watson put home his 26th of the year, but that's as close as this game would get. Swift Current would win it 5-3.
The loss was the Canes 7th in a row and dropped their overall record to 20-43-5-3 on the season. The Hurricanes out shot Swift Current 46-38. This was a rare occasion this season that the Canes have out shot their opponents in a game. The Canes did not have a power play in this game, while the Broncos finished the night 1/2.
The two clubs will close out the season Saturday (Mar. 21) in Swift Current. The Broncos still need to win in order to have a chance at securing the last playoff spot. Moose Jaw beat Brandon Friday, keeping their playoff hopes alive as well. If both the Broncos and Warriors win again Saturday, Swift Current would get the final spot. If Moose Jaw wins and the Broncos lose in regulation to the Hurricanes, Swift Current and Moose Jaw would have to play a one game winner-takes-all game next week to see which team would advance to the post-season.