Lethbridge Hurricanes (4-8-0-1) vs. Prince Albert Raiders (5-8-0-0)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes continued their road success Saturday night in Prince Albert winning their third straight game, and third straight on the road, with a 3-1 win over the Raiders at the Art Hauser Centre.
The Hurricanes entered having won 2-1 in a shootout in Edmonton on Tuesday and Friday night in Saskatoon by a 7-2 score in the first two games of a four game road trip – ‘Canes are now a perfect 3-0 on the trip.
The Hurricanes have scored the first goal of the game seven times in their first 12 games, and they did it again tonight as Taylor Cooper scored an unassisted wrap-around goal just 4:24 into the game to give the ‘Canes an early 1-0 lead. It was the fourth straight game they have opened the scoring. Lethbridge were out shot 11-7 in the first period.
In the second, the ‘Canes got some great goaltending again from Stuart Skinner. The 15-year-old was lights out making a few terrific stops in the middle half of the period. Then, with just 4:44 left in the period, Dexter Bricker scored his second of the season on a backhand shot that deflected off a Raiders’ defenseman and past Rylan Parenteau who started for PA to give the ‘Canes a 2-0 lead after two periods – Cooper picked up the lone helper on the Bricker goal. ‘Canes out shot the Raiders 12-6 in the middle frame.
The Hurricanes played a strong third period keeping the Raiders to just eight shots in the period. Prince Albert would press to tie and would have their chances, but again Skinner was rock solid. The ‘Canes received a power play mid-way through the period, and on their second opportunity, rookie Andrew Nielsen blasted home his first WHL goal at the 12:29 mark – Tyler Wong and Taylor Cooper earned the helpers. Late in the game, PA pulled the goal to try and get on the board and they would ruining the shutout bid for Skinner as they swarmed the front of the net before Jayden Hart banged one by an out-sprawled Skinner to see a 3-1 final.
Lethbridge was out shot 25-24 in the game, but it was the first time this year that the ‘Canes surrendered less than 30 shots in the game.
Hurricanes went 1/2 on the power play, and a perfect 4/4 on the penalty kill.
Three stars in the building were:
1) ‘Canes – #11 Taylor Cooper – (1 goal, 2 assists)
2) Raiders – #16 Tim Vanstone – (0 points)
3) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – (24 saves) [third straight game Skinner has been named a star]
The Hurricanes improve now to 4-8-0-1 on the season and wrap up their four-game road trip Sunday in Regina against the Pats team that beat the ‘Canes 6-1 at ENMAX Centre last Saturday.