The Lethbridge Hurricanes fired nearly 50 shots Friday night, but it wasn't enough as they lost 4-2 to the visiting Portland Winterhawks at the ENMAX Centre.
It was a pretty high tempo game from start to finish with some very impressive goaltending on both sides of thee ice.
The visitors opened the scoring quickly in this game. Just 29 seconds into the first period, Rodrigo Abols scored his first of two on the night to give Portland a 1-0 lead. That was the only goal in the opening 20 minutes.
In the second, the Hurricanes tied things up with an early goal of their own. Cory Millette scoring his 25th goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1. Portland though regained their one goal lead late in the period when Alex Shoenborn scored what would be his first of two in the game, giving the Hawks a 2-1 lead after two periods of play.
In the third, Portland jumped ahead by a pair when Alex Shoenborn scored again, beating Stuart Skinner to make a it a 3-1 game in favour of the Winterhawks. About three minutes later Portland scored one more time, this one a power play goal by Rodrigo Abols, putting the visitors up 4-1 in the game. The Hurricanes did get one of those back before the end of the game when Tyler Wong scored his 34th of the season in the dying seconds on a power play to cut the lead to 4-2 and that's the way this one would end.
The Hurricanes out shot Portland 48-38 on the night, but Hawks goalie Adin Hill was very good. Lethbridge went 1/3 on the power play and Portland 1/5. The loss drops the Hurricanes overall record to 40-18-1 on the season.
While I was away the last week, the Canes did something they haven't done since 2008-2009, clinch a playoff spot. They're the only team the WHL to have officially clinched a post-season berth with a month to go in the regular season.. The Hurricanes though have only four wins in their last ten games and are coming off back-to-back losses on home ice this week.
The Hurricanes have a big divisional game Saturday (Feb. 20) when they travel to Calgary to take on the Hitmen. Lethbridge has a 12 point lead on Calgary in the Central Division standings, however these divisional games are huge no matter how you slice it.
The Hurricanes next home game is Wednesday (Feb. 24) when they host the visiting Regina Pats.