For the second time during these 2016 playoffs, the Lethbridge Hurricanes were shut out, this time 2-0 in Regina.
For a team that was the second highest-scoring club in the WHL during the regular season, being blanked twice in the past three games is certainly out of the norm for the Hurricanes and with that, the Canes are facing playoff elimination, down three-games-to-one. In fact, since scoring six goals in game one, the Hurricanes have only scored twice since and that was in a 3-2 Game Four loss the other day. It is do or die now and anything but a win in Game Five on Friday back at the ENMAX Centre means the season comes to an end. However, it does take four win to take the series and the Hurricanes rattled off three wins in a row several times during the regular season. So it's not over till it's over, but the Canes are facing an uphill battle.
The Hurricanes decided to make a goaltending switch to start this game. Jayden Sittler got his first start of the post-season. The game stayed scoreless until the final minute of the first period. That's when Cole Sanford scored what would turn out to be the game winner when it was all said and done. It was Sanford's second of the playoffs at 19:12 of the opening period and that gave Regina a 1-0 lead.
Following a scoreless second period, that 1-0 lead held right through to late stages of the third. The Hurricanes pulled goalie Jayden Sittler to try and get the tying goal, however Adam Brooks scored his 4th playoff goal, this one into an empty net and the Pats would skate away with a 2-0 win and a stranglehold 3-1 series lead.
The Hurricanes out shot Regina 32-26, but Pats goalie Tyler Brown was perfect stopping everything he faced to earn his second shut out of the 2016 WHL playoffs. It's not the Hurricanes didn't have their chances. They hit enough goalposts in this game, that had they gone in, the Canes likely would've won. But those are the breaks and hitting posts doesn't win you games. The Canes were 0/3 on the power play and Regina 0/1.
So the Hurricanes have to pull up their socks big time now. As mentioned it's win or go home for this team. Hopefully playing back at home Friday with a big supportive crowd will be the added boost the Canes will need to keep them in this series and force a game six. It's all on the players now to get the job done. We will see how it all shakes down at 7:00 pm MDT time April 1st!