The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off the month of November with a 6-5 overtime loss to the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook on Saturday night.
It was the first of seven meetings between the two teams this season, and the first of three of the next six for the ‘Canes against the Ice.
Kootenay, losers of seven straight games, didn’t look like a last placed team in the first period out shooting the Hurricanes 16-6 in the opening twenty minutes. The Ice would “break the ice” as Levi Cable opened the scoring on a shot low to the blocker of Zac Robidoux at the 6:37 mark. Kootenay would make it 2-0 when Luke Philp scored at the 15:15 mark to give the Ice a two goal lead after one.
Kootenay didn’t let up early in the second building their lead to three when Rinat Valiev scored, and then four as Bryan Allbee snapped one seven-hole on Robidoux to give the Ice a big advantage, 4-0. However, just 24 seconds later, Zane Jones scored his first of three in ten minutes to put the ‘Canes on the board at the 8:37 mark. Jamal Watson would score his fourth in three games beating Wyatt Hoflin to cut the lead in half. Lethbridge did not stop there as on a power play, Jones would redirect a Kade Jensen point shot through Hoflin’s legs to make it 4-3. Then, before the period was out, Watson using his terrific speed blew by the defender and centered to a wide open Jones who completed the second period hat trick and tied the game 4-4 after 40 minutes of hockey.
Both teams had their chances in the third, but no one would break through until the 12:48 mark when Taylor Cooper, on his 19th birthday, would put one high to the blocker of Hoflin to give Lethbridge their first lead of the game, 5-4. Two late period power plays gave the Ice the momentum they needed and with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker and a power play, Levi Cable banked one off Robidoux and in with just 54 seconds left in regulation to force overtime in a 5-5 game.
In the extra frame, it took all but 10 seconds for a deciding goal. Off the opening faceoff, Jaedon Descheneau picked up the puck, worked in and slipped one through the gaping five hole of Robidoux – probably one that should’ve been stopped – and into the net for the winning goal as the Ice snapped their losing skid with a 6-5 overtime win.
The Hurricanes were out shot in the game 37-22. ‘Canes went 1/3 on the power play, while Kootenay went 2/3.
Three stars in the building were:
1) ‘Canes – #26 Zane Jones – (3 goals)
2) Ice – #24 Rinat Valiev – (1 goal, 2 assists)
3) ‘Canes – #17 Jamal Watson – (1 goal, 1 assist)
The Hurricanes are now 4-1-2-0 in their last seven games and have a total of 13 points. The ‘Canes, now with a record of 5-9-2-1, sit two points shy of Calgary and Moose Jaw who are tied for the final wild card playoff spot. Lethbridge is also just four points shy of fifth placed Regina.
The Hurricanes are next in action next Friday and Saturday when they host the Swift Current Broncos and Edmonton Oil Kings on back-to-back nights at the ENMAX Centre; both games are 7 o’clock starts.