Lethbridge Hurricanes (3-8-0-1) vs. Saskatoon Blades (5-7-0-0)
After a 2-1 shootout win on Tuesday in Edmonton, the Lethbridge Hurricanes continued their four game road Friday night Saskatoon against the Blades. The Blades entered having won four of their last five games, but it was all Hurricanes skating to a big 7-2 victory for their second straight road win.
Entering Friday the Hurricanes had only averaged 1.50 goals per game on the road, but the ‘Canes exploded with seven. Carter Folk scored his first ever WHL hat trick, while Zane Jones had a pair. Jamal Watson and Kade Jensen scored the others – it was the first WHL goal for Jensen in his 54th game.
The ‘Canes got on the board early when Zane Jones from the goal line backhanded one through Alex Moodie who started for the Blades just 1:51 into the game to give Lethbridge an early 1-0 lead. The Jones goal snapped a three-game pointless drought. Riley Sheen and Jamal Watson both picked up assists; for Sheen the helper snapped a three-game pointless drought while the assist for Watson snaps a five-game pointless drought and it was his 100th WHL point. The Hurricanes surrendered their second shorthanded goal at the 15:14 mark as Cameron Hebig beat Stuart Skinner on a deke to the backhand on a shorthanded breakaway just nine seconds into the ‘Canes first power play of the game. However, just 14 seconds after that Carter Folk scored his first of three in the game on a redirect of a Kade Jensen point shot to restore the 2-1 lead. Before the period was out, Jones added his second of the game and team-leading sixth of the season on a nice pass from Sheen to give Lethbridge a 3-1 lead after one period – it was just the first time this season the ‘Canes led a game after twenty minutes.
The teams exchanged goals in the second period. Lethbridge jumped out to another early strike. The Captain, Watson moved in on the right side and put a laser high to the blocker side of Moodie to make it 4-1 ‘Canes – Sheen and Kord Pankewicz picked up the assists. Former Hurricane Sam McKechnie would cut the lead in half at the 14:42 mark unassisted on a breakaway as he made it 4-2 ‘Canes after two periods. Lethbridge out shot Saskatoon 23-22 through two periods.
The ‘Canes added to their lead in the third. Folk scored his second of the game on a nice power move to the net before backhanding one by Moodie to make it 5-2. Folk made it 6-2 completing the hat trick at the 6:49 mark with a shorthanded goal – it was his first WHL hat trick. Lethbridge rounded out the scoring late in the game on a five-on-three power play as Jensen uncorked a slap shot that beat Moodie high to the blocker for his first WHL goal to make it a 7-2 final.
Despite the win, the Hurricanes were out shot in the game 35-29 in the game. Lethbridge went 2/5 on the power play, while Saskatoon went a dismal 0/7.
Three stars in the building were:
1) ‘Canes – #27 Carter Folk – (3 goals – first career hat trick)
2) ‘Canes – #19 Riley Sheen – (3 assists)
3) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – (33 saves)
The Hurricanes now sit with a 3-8-0-1 record on the season and leapfrog the Kootenay Ice for fifth in the Central Division – just one point shy of the fourth placed Red Deer Rebels. ‘Canes continue their four game trip Saturday night in Prince Albert before wrapping up the trip Sunday in Regina.