Friday's game at the ENMAX Centre was a game to remember for a number of reasons.
The Hurricanes hammered their rivals, the Medicine Hat Tigers 9-3 to clinch the 2015-16 WHL Central Division title in front of sold out crowd of 5320 loud and proud fans. But that was really the icing on the cake in this game. It was an historic night as well. Hurricanes goaltender Stuart Skinner scored a goal into an empty net late in the game, sending the ENMAX Centre crowd into an uproar. It was a rare sight as it's only happened once or twice in the history of the Western Hockey League. This video below is the proof in the pudding!
The victory locked up first place for the Hurricanes in the Central Division which essentially means Saturday's final regular season game in Medicine Hat means virtually nothing in terms of playoff positioning for Lethbridge. Their first round opponent will be decided Saturday however, it'll either be Moose Jaw or Regina for sure. Saturday's victory improved the Canes overall record to 46-23-1-1 on the season. It's the third highest win total for the Hurricanes in one season in franchise history.
Here's a quick recap on Friday's game. The Canes also handed out the hardware prior to puck drop against the Tigers.
Brayden Burke scored twice in this game, his 26th and 27th goals of the season to lead the way offensively. Other Lethbridge goals in this game were scored by Tyler Wong, his team-leading 43rd of the year. Ryley Lindgren scored his 27th, Ben Duppereault his 3rd, Cory Millette with his 34th of the year, Colton Kroeker's 13th, Ryan Vandervlis and his 9th of the season and of course the one no one will ever forget, Stuart Skinner scoring into an empty goal at 16:37 of the third period.
David Quenneville scored twice for the Tigers and Zach Fischer scored the other. The Hurricanes cruised to a 9-3 win. The Tigers scored all three of their goals on the power play, going 3/6 on the night. The Canes were 2/3. Medicine Hat held a 41-31 edge in shots on goal.
As mentioned the Hurricanes have nothing to play for in the final regular season game in the Hat Saturday, however the Tigers sure do. A Medicine Hat win and an Edmonton loss would put the Tigers in the post-season in the 8th spot and a first round date with the Brandon Wheat Kings. It's a must-win for the Tigers if they want any chance at that last wild card spot. All Edmonton needs is a single point to lock down 8th place. The Oil Kings play in Red Deer.
Congratulations to the Hurricanes on an incredible regular season. It was fun to watch and well-deserved after so many years of being out of the post-season picture well before the Christmas break.