Cory Millette and Justin Gutierrez each scored twice as they Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Red Deer Rebels 6-2 Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre.
The victory avenges a 2-0 loss the night before to Prince Albert, the first time the Hurricanes were held scoreless all season. This was a big win for Lethbridge as it moved the team into a first place tie with Red Deer in the Eastern Conference standings.
It didn't take long for the first goal to come in this game. The ever popular teddy bear toss goal was scored by Cory Millette on a power play, 4:06 into the first period. His 13th of the season sent hundreds of stuffed animals and toques onto the ice. After things were call cleaned up and the game resumed, the Rebels tied it up. Connor Bleackley notched a power play goal, beating Jayden Sittler late in the period to even the score at 1-1 after 20 minutes of play.
In the second, the Canes regained the lead when Justin Gutierrez scored his 13th of the season and first of two in the game to make it 2-1 Lethbridge. The Rebels again tied the contest, this time with a shorthanded goal from Preston Kopeck. That made it 2-2 through two periods of play.
In the third though the Hurricanes blew things wide open with four straight goals. Justin Gutierrez put home his 14th of the season to make it 3-2 Hurricanes. That ended up being the game winner. Then Darian Skeotch scored his first-ever WHL goal for the Canes, putting the home side up 4-2. Cory Millette then made it 5-2 Lethbridge with his 14th of season and to cap it all off, Barrett Sheen scored his second of the year with less than a minute to go as the Canes skated away with a well-earned and well-played 6-2 victory.
The win improves the Hurricanes overall record to 19-10 on the season. The Canes have won 5 of their last 6 games. They went 2/6 on the power play and Red Deer finished the night 1/4 and also scored a shorthanded goal. Great crowd on hand as well for Teddy Bear Toss night with 4748 the official attendance.
This was also the last home game for the Hurricanes before the WHL's Christmas break. They play their next six on the road including games in Brandon next Friday (Dec. 11), Regina (Dec. 12), Prince Albert (Dec. 15), Saskatoon (Dec. 16), Edmonton (Dec. 18), and Red Deer (Dec. 19). The Hurricanes don't play again at home until December 29th when they host Medicine Hat.