On paper it should've been an easy two points for the Eastern Conference-leading Lethbridge Hurricanes, however the game against the ICE in Cranbrook Saturday night turned out to be a lot more difficult.
The last place Kootenay ICE shut out the Hurricanes 2-0. That was only the second time all season the high-powered Lethbridge offence was held off the score sheet in a hockey game.
After a scoreless first period, the Kootenay ICE opened the scoring in the second with a power play goal. River Beattie beat Jayden Sittler at the 7:27 mark to give the ICE a 1-0 lead and break the scoreless tie. That was the only goal to that point in the game.
In the third, the Hurricanes looked to even the game, however the ICE had other plans. Kootenay added some insurance. Matt Alfaro scored midway through the period to make it a 2-0 game for the home side. The Hurricanes were unable to find a way to beat ICE goalie Wyatt Hoflin on this night. He was perfect, stopping every shot he faced as Kootenay shut out the Hurricanes 2-0.
The Hurricanes were blanked for the first time since early December when they lost 2-0 to Prince Albert. Kootenay also out shot the Canes 33-31. This last stretch is the most adversity the Hurricanes have faced all season. They've lost four of their last five games, so it's certainly a good test for this club with 19 games to go in the regular season.
The Hurricanes are now home for their next two games. They host Saskatoon Wednesday (Feb. 10) and then Tri-City rolls through the ENMAX Centre Friday (Feb. 12). That Friday game will be earlier than originally scheduled. The Canes have moved the start time for Friday's game against the Americans to 6:00 pm because they travel to Edmonton for a 2:00 pm start Saturday afternoon. The Hurricanes will close out a busy week with four games in five days in Calgary next Sunday afternoon (Feb. 14) when they take on the Hitmen.