Monday, 26 September 2016

Canes Split Opening Weekend Games

It wasn't a pretty second game of the season for the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The Medicine Hat Tigers scored four times on the power play and once shorthanded as they thumped the visiting Canes 9-3 Saturday night at the Canalta Centre. The loss drops the Hurricanes very early season record to 1-1.

The game was close through the opening 20 minutes when the Tigers broke a scoreless tie late in the period with a goal from Zach Fischer. That would be his first of three on the night and it gave the home team a 1-0 lead.

In the second period, things turned ugly for Lethbridge. The Tigers blew the game open with five goals to take a commanding lead. Mark Rassell, James Hamblin, and Matt Bradley all scored for Medicine Hat, while Zach Fischer added two more. Three of the goals for the Tigers were on the man advantage, while one was shorthanded. The Hurricanes did get one goal in the second period, a power play marker courtesy of Kord Pankewicz, his first of the year. That would be it for goalie Stuart Skinner. He would head to the bench after the period and newly-acquired back-up Ryan Gilchrist would take over for the rest of the night. It was 6-1 Medicine Hat through 40 minutes of play.

In the third, the Tigers kept the offence rolling. Mark Rassell added his second of the game while Chad Butcher and Max Gerlach provided two more for the home side. The Hurricanes, however did manage to get a couple more before the game ended. Zane Franklin scored his first of the season on a power play and Josh Tarzwell got his first as well. When it was all said and done, the Tigers would win it big, 9-3.

The Hurricanes didn't have much defensive support for their goaltenders. Medicine Hat heavily out shot the Canes 48-20. The Tigers went 4/8 on the power play and the Hurricanes were 2/10.

Over the two opening weekend games, the Tigers held a 91-40 edge in total shots on goal.

Both teams were missing key players for both games. The Canes without four players at NHL camps including Tyler Wong, Giorgio Estephan, Brayden Burke, Brennan Menell. That's some considerable offence the Canes are missing right now. If you combine the production of those three players from last season, that's a combined 325 points currently not in the Hurricanes line-up. The sooner the team gets those players back the better. Medicine Hat was missing two.

The Hurricanes are home this weekend for a pair of games against Central Division teams. On Friday (Sept. 30), the Canes welcome the Kootenay ICE and on Saturday (Oct. 1), the Hurricanes will battle with Calgary for the first time this season. Both games at 7:00 pm MDT starts from the ENMAX Centre.


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