Lethbridge Hurricanes (5-10-3-1) vs. Edmonton Oil Kings (10-8-0-2)
Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre the Lethbridge Hurricanes welcomed a struggling Edmonton Oil Kings team on Military Appreciation night. The Oil Kings entered having lost six straight games and seven of their last nine but Edmonton picked up a key 4-0 win to end a seven-game road trip. The Hurricanes also unveiled their new third jerseys in the game.
The Hurricanes entered having lost three straight overtime games, the latest a 4-3 decision Friday against the Swift Current Broncos – a game that the ‘Canes played an excellent 50 minutes, but the last 10 minutes of the game cost them as they surrendered three goals to see the Broncos storm back and force extra time.
Saturday, it was much the same. The ‘Canes played a very strong first 50 minutes of the game keeping it scoreless to that point in the game, however, another late game collapse saw a game slip away yet again. Lethbridge had their chances in the first and second periods. In fact, Taylor Cooper had a penalty shot in the first period but was stopped by Tristan Jarry. In the second period, Jamal Watson also had a penalty shot, but fired high as Jarry just stood there.
The Oil Kings opened the scoring with just 9:39 to go in the game as Brett Pollock moved in left side and beat Zac Robidoux, who made his fifth straight start, low to the blocker side with an outside snap shot – a goal that Robidoux would like back. Quickly thereafter, the ‘Canes failed to capitalize on a power play and out of the penalty box Aaron Irving was sprung free on a breakaway and between the hash marks beat Robidoux clean through the legs – another back-breaking goal and a bit of a softy to make it a 2-0 Edmonton lead. With yet another man advantage, their seventh of the game, the Hurricanes pulled Robidoux to press for a goal however Tristan Jarry would stand tall as he did all night long and with the empty net the Oil Kings’ Tyler Robertson made it 3-0. Before the game was out, Edmonton’s captain Ashton Sautner added insult to injury beating Robidoux high glove side with just six seconds left in the contest to send the Oil Kings home with a 4-0 win.
The Hurricanes top line of Zane Jones, Riley Sheen and Jamal Watson looked strong at times offensively but once again had seemingly more shifts where they were trapped in their own zone struggling to get the puck out. Watson was one of four players to go a minus-3 in the game – Sheen, Bryton Sayers and Kade Jensen were the others. Watson is now a team-worst minus-17 on the year.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Oil Kings – #30 Tristan Jarry – (32-save shutout)
2) ‘Canes – #35 Zac Robidoux – (32 saves)
3) Oil Kings – #39 Brett Pollock – (1 goal, 1 assist)
The Hurricanes will next play the rolling Red Deer Rebels, in Red Deer Friday night before returning home to face Sam Reinhart and the Kootenay Ice for the first of two straight against the team from Cranbrook.