The Kootenay ICE moved a step closer to clinching a WHL post-season spot for a 17th straight year by beating the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-1 Tuesday night in Cranbrook.
The ICE got things going very quickly in this game. Just 1:17 into the first period, Luke Philp beat goalie Jayden Sittler for his 29th goal of the season to give Kootenay an early 1-0 lead. The score stayed the way until the final seconds of the period. While killing off a penalty the ICE found a way to score shorthanded. Austin Vetterl made it a 2-0 game with just 12 seconds remaining in the period to give the ICE a two goal lead after 20 minutes.
In the second, neither team was able to light the red lamp and the same 2-0 score would hold up going in the final period of play.
In the third, the ICE jumped ahead by a 3-0 score when Jaedon Descheneau scored just over six minutes into the period. The Hurricanes did manage to get on the scoreboard very late in the game and also broke the shutout bid for ICE goaltender Wyatt Hoflin. Giorgio Estephan beat Hoflin with a shorthanded goal with just over one minute remaining to cut the Kootenay lead to 3-1. That's as close as the Hurricanes would get in this game. Kootenay added one more into an empty net when Tim Bozon scored and the ICE skated away with a 4-1 victory.
The loss drops the Canes overall record to 20-38-5-3 on the season. Both teams scored once shorthanded. Kootenay went 1/5 on the power play and Lethbridge 0/4. It was again a busy night for the Lethbridge goalie as the Canes were out shot 46-27.
The Hurricanes are down to their final six games. They play at home this weekend. Friday (Mar. 13) Edmonton is at the ENMAX Centre and then Saturday (Mar. 14) Calgary is in town. On Sunday, the Canes travel to Calgary for their last game against the Hitmen this season. Next week the Hurricanes host Kootenay Tuesday (Mar. 18) and then it's back-to-back against the Swift Current Broncos Friday & Saturday (Mar. 20 & 21) to close out the season.