The Lethbridge Hurricanes did something Sunday they haven't done in a very long time, win ten games in a row.
Stuart Skinner was perfect between the pipes as the Canes blanked the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings 3-0 at the ENMAX Centre.
The victory gave the Hurricanes their 36th win of the season, improving their overall record to 36-12 for 72 points. Still the best record in the WHL. That should also vault the Hurricanes at least another spot higher in this coming week's CHL rankings.
The Canes got things going fast in this one. It's kind of been their M.O. as of late. Not only scoring first, but scoring early. Just 1:17 into the opening period, Giorgio Estephan scored his 27th of the season to quickly make it 1-0 Lethbridge. Interestingly enough, that would end up being the game winner. That was also a power play goal.
In the second period, the Canes added some insurance. Kord Pankewicz put home his 4th of the year on yet another Lethbridge man advantage to make it 2-0 Canes after 40 minutes of play.
In the third, Egor Babenko sealed the game with an empty net goal late, his 25th of the year and the Hurricanes would skate away with a well-earned 3-0 win.
Edmonton out shot the Canes 34-21 in this game, but Skinner was sharp stopping every puck he faced. The Hurricanes were 2/6 on the power play and Edmonton finished the game 0/5.
As it sits right now, the Canes Brayden Burke leads all WHL scorers with points at 74. That includes 18 goals and an amazing 56 assists. The Hurricanes also have more 20 plus goal scorers than any team in the WHL.Giorgio Estephan, Tyler Wong, Cory Millette, Egor Babenko, and Justin Gutierrez all have either hit or surpassed that plateau already. So that's five 20 goals scorers and a few are closing in on 30 as well.
The Hurricanes now hit the road for three games in B.C. next week. The Canes play in Victoria Friday (Jan. 29), Vancouver Saturday (Jan. 30) and then in Kelowna the following Tuesday (Feb. 2). The games against the Royals and Rockets will be big ones as those two clubs are the top two teams in the Western Conference. Although the Canes lead the WHL, it'll be a very big measuring stick to see how they match up against the best in the west.
It's been an amazing ride so far this season, a fairytale season of sorts for the Canes. From literally worst to first in one season. The Canes are the feel-good story of major junior hockey in my opinion!