Lethbridge Hurricanes (0-3-0-0) vs. Calgary Hitmen (1-2-0-0)
It was over before it really started on Sunday afternoon as the Calgary Hitmen came out flying and capitalized early on some shaky goaltending on the part of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and saw an early lead grow into a large lead en route to a 9-2 victory at Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Hitmen jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a power play goal from Pavel Karnaukhov at the 2:47 – it was the Russians’ first WHL goal. Just under five minutes later, Travis Sanheim scored his first of two in the period as he beat Zac Robidoux who got the start to make it 2-0 Calgary. Quickly thereafter, it was Travis’ brother Taylor Sanheim who got on the board beating Robidoux low to blocker side from a long distance to make it 3-0 before Travis tallied again with a point shot that went five hole on Robidoux as the Hitmen lead 4-0 through twenty minutes of play. ‘Canes were out shot 14-6 in the period.
The second period was much of the same as the Hitmen came out flying. Robidoux, who gave up four goals on 14 shots in the first, was on the bench to begin the second as 15-year-old Stuart Skinner took over and Skinner allowed goals on the first two shots he faced. At the 49 second mark Chase Lang beat Skinner to make it 5-0, while just 24 seconds later Karnaukhov tallied his second of the game to make it a convincing 6-0 advantage. Then just over four minutes later, the Hitmen made it 7-0 when Terrell Draude lifted one over the glove of Skinner at the 5:57 mark. The Hurricanes didn’t garner many opportunities, but with exactly one minute remaining in the period, Reid Duke, who made his season debut, put a sharp angle shot on goal that was ruled a goal on the ice, but after further review, it was deemed no goal as the puck hit the post and did not cross the line – 7-0 Hitmen after two periods.
Early in the third, newcomer Zane Jones potted his first as a Hurricane in his Lethbridge debut as he jammed one by Calgary netminder Mack Shields to make it 7-1. Just over five minutes later Jones was sprung home free on a breakaway from a Jamal Watson pass and was taken down resulting in a penalty shot and on it, Jones made no mistake burying one by the blocker of Shields to make it 7-2. However, the Hitmen would round out the scoring as Adam Tambellini and Carsen Twarynski scored three minutes apart to help Calgary to the lopsided victory.
Final shots on goal favoured the Hitmen as they out shot the Hurricanes by a 45-20 margin.
Three Stars of the game in the building were:
1) Hitmen – #9 Pavel Karnaukhov (2G)
2) Hitmen – #21 Terrel Draude (1G/3A)
3) Hitmen – #32 Travis Sanheim (2G)
With the loss, the Hurricanes are now 0-3 on the season and have lost 17-straight regular season games dating back to last year and have now been unable to defeat the Hitmen in eight straight regular season contests.
The two teams will battle it out again on Wednesday night in the second of a home and home, this time at the ENMAX Centre in Lethbridge – game time is 7pm, you can tune into the pregame show on ROCK 106 at 6:45pm.