‘Canes Open Pre-Season With Shootout Win Over PA

photo 4The Lethbridge Hurricanes opened their 2014/15 pre-season schedule with a come-from-behind 2-1 shootout victory over the Prince Albert Raiders Friday afternoon at The Co-operators Arena in Regina.

It was an impressive first period for the veteran-laden Hurricanes who outshot the Raiders by a 13-3 margin. Nick McBride, who got the start of PA looked sharp, stopping three shorthanded breakaway’s from the speedy Jamal Watson. Territorially, the ‘Canes looked much better as the Raiders didn’t get their first shot on Zac Robidoux who started for Lethbridge came not until the 9-minute mark. The ‘Canes had an early power play opportunity early in the first but could not bury past McBride despite a few good chances for Nikita Milekhin off the left wall, but it remained scoreless after the first period.

The Hurricanes begin the second period with a brief power play opportunity but didn’t really gain the zone. The tempo continued for the ‘Canes in the middle frame as again the team generated some good chances but seemed to not be able to buy a goal. Robidoux stopped all of the shots he faced in his half game as at the mid-way mark of the second, the team put in 16-year-old Stuart Skinner in and less than a minute later the Raiders opened the scoring on a rebound buried by Matteo Gennaro who capitalized shorthanded with 9:01 to go in the second. Lethbridge continued to get some chances with the extra man but McBride stood tall. The ‘Canes two best chances in the period came late as minutes apart Tyler Wong had a 2-on-1 and was stopped and then soon thereafter Nikita Milekhin was stopped on a breakaway and it ended 1-0 PA after forty minutes.

The third period continued with much of the same, some good chances for Lethbridge but no finish. Jaeger White had one of the better chances on a steal just outside the Raiders blue line and he went in on the left side but his shot went high and Pavel Skumatov couldn’t bury the rebound. The White, Skumatov and Zach Goberis line was probably the best line for the Hurricanes in game one in my opinion. After killing off a Reid Nemeth checking from behind penalty, the Hurricanes got another chance on the power play – their seventh of the game – and the ‘Canes would finally break the ice as an Andrew Nielson point shot was tipped home to make it 1-1 at the 15:02 mark. The Hurricanes would get another great chance in the dying seconds of the game to win it as Tyler Wong from the high slot rang one off the crossbar and so the game went to overtime.

In the extra frame, Prince Albert would get the first good chance at the two minute mark as Sean Montgomery let a shot go from the high slot that squeezed through Skinner and hit the post behind him, but stayed out of the net. The ‘Canes and Raiders would trade chances, but to no result and so the game went to a shootout.

In the shootout, Jaeger White and Nikita Milekhin would be stopped, before Jamal Watson scored the shootout winner beating McBride five-hole for the winner – Watson went 0/3 on breakaways in the game, but scored when they needed him the most as the ‘Canes earned the win. Skinner stopped all three PA shooters.

Final power plays saw the ‘Canes go 1/7, while the Raiders went 0/6.

The ‘Canes picked up a strong 2-1 shootout win a character building, come from behind contest to open the pre-season.

The Hurricanes will play their second game of the Regina tournament tomorrow, Saturday at 7pm when they take on the hosting Regina Pats at The Co-operators Arena.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s