Lethbridge Hurricanes (5-11-3-1) vs. Red Deer Rebels (10-8-2-1)
Yet again, for the third straight outing, the final ten minutes of the hockey game was the Achilles heel for the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
After taking an early third period lead Friday night at the ENMAX Centrium in Red Deer, the Rebels scored four goals in the final 10:36 of the game en route to a 4-1 win in front of nearly 5,200 people.
The ‘Canes were once again without injured players Ryley Lindgren, Miles Warkentine, and Carter Folk. As well, Zac Robidoux made his sixth consecutive start in the absence of Stuart Skinner, who has returned to the Hurricanes after competing at the U-17’s in Sarnia, however, the 16-year-old netminder suffered an upper-body injury in practice this week.
The Hurricanes, after skating to a scoreless tie after the first forty minutes, scored an early third period goal at the 3:07 mark as Zane Jones jammed home his team-leading 10th goal of the season after Riley Sheen was stopped on the doorstep by Rebels starter Rylan Toth – Jamal Watson picked up the second assist. The Jones goal snapped a 118:56 span were the ‘Canes failed to find the back of the net. However, the lead was short lived as just 1:09 later Tyler Sandhu scored to tie the game after Robidoux let out a juicy rebound after a Grayson Pawlenchuk shot. Just over five minutes later it was Sandhu again finishing off a three-way passing play to give Red Deer a 2-1 lead – Avs draft pick Conner Bleackley and Pawlenchuk pick up the assists.
Five minutes after Sandhu’s second it was another goal for Red Deer goal to make it 3-1 as at the 14:40 mark, Brooks Maxwell (the nephew of ‘Canes Assistant Coach Bryan Maxwell) redirected a Haydn Fleury point shot high past Robidoux. Then, with an offensive zone faceoff with just over 2:30 minutes left Drake Berehowsky took his time out and pulled Robidoix for the extra attacker but it wouldn’t matter as the Rebels Scott Feser iced a 4-1 win with the empty netter handing the Hurricanes their fifth straight loss.
The ‘Canes were once again outshot, this time 35-20 on the night. Lethbridge went 0/2 on the power play while the are Rebels did not have an opportunity with the man advantage.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Rebels – #16 Grayson Pawlenchuk – (2 assists)
2) Rebels – #23 Tyler Sandhu – (2 goals, including GWG)
3) Rebels – #31 Rylan Toth – (19 saves)
With the loss the Hurricanes are now 5-11-3-1 on the season and have slipped back into sixth in the Central Division after the Kootenay Ice beat the Calgary Hitmen 7-6 in overtime Friday.
The Hurricanes will take on the Ice Saturday at the ENMAX Centre. Kootenay has won four straight games and have Sam Reinhart and Tim Bozon back in the line up,
Puck drops at 7pm.