Lethbridge Hurricanes (5-9-1-1) vs. Brandon Wheat Kings (13-3-1-0)
A month after the second blockbuster trade in two years, the Lethbridge Hurricanes played host to the Brandon Wheat Kings for the first time since shipping Reid Duke, Macoy Erkamps and prospect Tak Anholt to Brandon in exchange for Brett Kitt, Ryley Lindgren and Kord Pankewicz.
The Wheat Kings and Hurricanes saw many scoring chances and lots of physical play as the Wheat Kings picked up a 5-4 overtime victory. The Hurricanes played a terrific first period that saw much animosity and intensity. Lethbridge were out shot in the frame, but held a 3-2 lead through twenty minutes. Ryley Lindgren didn’t play long against his former team as early in the first period he was slew-footed by Provorov and would leave the game and not return after being taken to the hospital – only update provided was that it was a leg injury
Tyler Wong continued to be red hot jamming home the games opening goal just 29 seconds into the contest for his sixth of the season and fourth in two games – Wong now has points in eight of his last nine games. Brandon would equalize when Jayce Hawryluk scored his WHL-leading sixth power play goal of the year at the 5:38 mark to make it 1-1. Quickly thereafter, the Hurricanes would retake the lead when Dexter Bricker tapped home his third of the year on a pass from former Wheat King Brett Kitt. However, after an unsuccessful penalty shot by Tyler Coulter, rookie sensation Ivan Provorov tied the game again. But, with a power play, Jamal Watson banged home his second in as many games to give Lethbridge a 3-2 lead after twenty minutes.
In the second period, Brandon came on. Just 1:35 into the middle frame, New Jersey Devils first rounder John Quenneville snapped home his fifth of the year to once again see a tied game, 3-3. Despite numerous great chances to take the lead, the Wheat Kings finally broke through at the 16:11 mark when Tim McGauley beat Zac Robidoux to make it 4-3 Brandon after two periods. Wheaties out shot the ‘Canes 12-8 in the second.
A sloppy third period saw chances at both ends, but not many quality scoring opportunities. The Hurricanes had a few good looks to tie the game, but didn’t until late in the period. The Captain, Watson scored a tying goal with just 3:06 left in regulation – Jensen and Sayers earned the assists. Hurricanes out shot the Kings 8-7 in the third period.
In overtime, just one minute in, Riley Sheen took a tripping penalty and on the ensuing power play the Wheat Kings made him pay. Just 41 seconds into the man advantage, Provorov completed a three point night setting up Rihards Bukarts on a platter and the Latvian made no mistake hammering one home past Robidoux for the game winning goal as the Wheat Kings earned their fifth win in six of seven games played on their current trip.
Hurricanes were out shot 36-27 in the game, and 3-0 in overtime Lethbridge went 1/5 on the power play while Brandon scored twice on four chances.
1) Wheat Kings – #9 Ivan Provorov – (1 goal, 2 assists)
2) ‘Canes – #17 Jamal Watson – (2 goals)
3) ‘Canes – #18 Brett Kitt – (1 assist)
The Hurricanes with the overtime loss are now 4-1-1-0 in their last six games collecting at least a point in five out of six contests. The ‘Canes now sit 5-9-1-1 on the year and sit two points shy of the second wild card playoff position (8th) currently held by the Prince Albert Raiders. Lethbridge is also just three points out of 5th place in the Eastern Conference.
Lethbridge will take on Kootenay Saturday night in Cranbrook in a game that could feature the return of Sam Reinhart to the Ice line up after being sent down by the Buffalo Sabres. The Hurricanes will return home for a pair of home contests next weekend Friday against Swift Current and Saturday against Kootenay.