The Lethbridge Hurricanes really haven't had any trouble scoring goals this season and it showed again Friday night.
Egor Babenko scored a hatrick as the Canes hammered the Blades 10-3 in Saskatoon. They scored plenty and often in this game. Even Giorgio Estpehan was back to his old ways, scoring a pair of goals in his return from injury. In fact it didn't look like he missed a beat. The victory was the Hurricanes third in a row and improved their overall record to 43-20-1-1 on the season. It keeps them tied with Brandon for first place in the Eastern Conference. Both clubs sit with 88 points with seven games each left in the regular season.
The Hurricanes opened the scoring in this game with two goals from Estpehan. He notched his 28th of the season less than a minute into the game and then a few minutes later he put home his 29th of the year on the power play and it was 2-0 Lethbridge. Before the end of the period, the Blades cut the Lethbridge lead to one with a goal from Wyatt Sloboshan to make it a 2-1 game after 20 minutes of play.
In the second, Lethbridge pretty much put this one away. Brady Reagan scoring his 6th of the season, followed up by Ryan Vandervlis with his 7th and Egor Babenko's 27th of the year and it was 5-1 Hurricanes. That was also Babenko's first of three in the game. The Blades scored another between those Lethbridge goals, Connor Gay cutting the lead to 5-2, however Jordy Bellerive scored a power play goal for the Hurricanes, his 8th of the season and the Hurricanes took a commanding 6-2 lead into the dressing room after two periods of play.
In the third, Babenko completed his first-ever WHL hatrick scoring twice more, his 28th and 29th goals of the season. Brett Davis added his 5th of the year and Carter Folk scored his 10th. Connor Gay added one more for Saskatoon, but when this one was all said and done, it was ugly. The Hurricanes skated away with a 10-3 victory
The Hurricanes have scored 274 goals on the season. That's second only to Brandon at 276. As mentioned off the top, the two clubs are neck-and-neck with only two weeks to go in the season. One small slip up by either team and that could be the difference in finishing first or second in the Conference.
Saskatoon out shot the Hurricanes 41-30 in this game. Lethbridge finished the night 2/3 on the power play and the Blades 1/4.
The Hurricanes close out a three Saskatchewan road trip Saturday (Mar. 5) in Prince Albert. The Raiders sit in 4th place in the Conference and have also locked down a playoff spot. After the P.A. game, the Canes return to southern Alberta and will travel to Cranbrook next Tuesday (Mar. 8) before two very important back-to-back games against the Rebels next Friday in Lethbridge and the following day, the return match in Red Deer.