Lethbridge Hurricanes (0-2-0-0) vs. Medicine Hat Tigers (2-0-0-0)
Less than twenty-four hours after seeing a two goal lead slip away en route to a 3-2 loss in their home opener to the hands of their Southern Alberta rivals the Medicine Hat Tigers, the Lethbridge Hurricanes traveled East down Highway 3 in hopes of returning the favour, however, it was the Tigers that came out on top 5-1.
The Hurricanes once again scored the first goal of the hockey game as they did Friday night, however the Tigers fed off a packed Medicine Hat Arena as they outplayed the ‘Canes for a large amount of the contest.
Lethbridge opened the scoring just 39 seconds into the game when the Captain, Jamal Watson, skated in on the right wing and beat Nick Schneider with a bullet of a wrist shot high to the glove side – Bryton Sayers picked up the lone assist to make it 1-0 ‘Canes early on. However, the Tigers tied the game with a power play goal by Chad Butcher at the 7:11 mark to make it 1-1. The tie didn’t last long, as just 1:01 later Steven Owre scored his first of two in the game as he beat Stuart Skinner on a rebound for the eventual game-winning goal – 2-1 Med Hat. Just over a minute and a half later it appeared that the Tigers had made it 3-1 as Matt Staples drove on right the centre ice faceoff circle that somehow got through Skinner, but a Tiger was trapped offside therefore the goal did not count and the first ended with Medicine Hat in front by a 2-1 count.
The Hurricanes, who only had seven shots in the first period, came out storming to start the second as they quickly jumped on the Tigers and had numerous chances with the puck in the attacking zone for the first two and a half minutes but could not convert even with a power play. The ‘Canes continued to press as they had the edge in shots by a 10-4 number by the midway mark of the second, but the offense soon dried up as Lethbridge did not get a shot on goal until the six minute mark of the third period. Before the second was out, Mark Rassell beat Skinner short side for his first WHL goal to give the Tigers a 3-1 advantage through forty minutes of hockey.
In the third period, it was the Trevor Cox and Cole Sanford show as the two veterans seemed to have the puck on a string every time they were on the ice and the two each picked up an assist on the two third period goals for the Tigers. Just 53 seconds into the third, Owre would find the back of the net for his second before Matthew Bradley beat Skinner up high at the 13:57 mark to ice the 5-1 victory.
The Hurricanes were once again out shot by a healthy margin, this time 39-21; 12-4 in the third period.
Lethbridge went 0/3 on the power play, while Medicine Hat was 1/7.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Tigers – #36 Trevor Cox (2A)
2) Tigers – #11 Steven Owre (2G)
3) Tigers – #26 Cole Sanford (3A)
The Hurricanes and Tigers will not meet again until December 27th. The Hurricanes have now lost 16 straight regular season contests dating back to last year and will look to snap that next Sunday, September 28th when they visit the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary against the Hitmen – a team the ‘Canes did not beat last season.