Lethbridge Hurricanes (6-16-3-1) vs. Tri-City Americans (15-11-0-0)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off their first of two US road trips Friday night in Kennewick, Washington with a game against the Tri-City Americans, a team the ‘Canes haven’t defeated since January of 2008.
The Americans used their speed and skill, and played their top line of Brian Williams, Lucas Nickles and Richard Nejezchleb a ton, and it worked to their advantage as they would skate to a 4-1 victory.
The Amerks came out flying early in the first period taking the pace to the Hurricanes club that had traveled from Lethbridge to Spokane Thursday and Spokane to Kennewick just for the game. The Hurricanes didn’t play a bad first period by any means, however, the lone goal was scored by Tri-City at the 16:53 mark as Ty Comrie jumped on a rebound and beat Skinner to make it 1-0 – Lucas Nickles and Justin Hamonic picked up the assists. Tri-City held the edge in shots in the first period 15-6.
The Amerks out shot the ‘Canes 10-6 in the second, but there would be three goals – one for Lethbridge, two for Tri-City. Just 1:36 into the period, Nickles beat Skinner short side to make it 2-0 – Nejezchleb picked up the lone assist. However, just 54 seconds later, Tyler Wong hooked one to the net and Taylor Cooper was johnny-on-the-spot to bang home a loose puck to cut the lead in half, 2-1 Tri. Both teams had their chances, but at the 12:38 mark Vladislav Lukin lucked out for his fifth goal of the year. Lukin, tried to centre a pass to Williams, but the puck ricocheted off a Hurricane defenseman and passed Skinner to make it 3-1 after two periods.
In the third, the Americans would add another. At the 9:45 mark, Brian Williams beat Skinner low to the blocker to give them a 4-1 lead. After that, tempers would start to boil over. Maxwell James, who fought Brett Kitt late in the second period, would fight again going toe-to-toe with Carter Folk. Folk connected with probably the best punch right to the jaw-bone of James. While the linesmen were separating Folk and James, another fight broke out between Austyn Playfair and Kitt as things unraveled. Tri-City would go on to the 4-1 win.
The Americans held the edge in shots 41-15 in the game. Both teams failed to score on the power play – the ‘Canes went 0/3 while the Ams went 0/4.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Americans – #9 Lucas Nickles – (1 goal, 1 assist)
2) Americans – #21 Vladislav Lukin – (1 goal, 1 assist)
3) Americans – #26 Brian Williams – (1 goal, 1 assist)
The “Kennewick Curse” was in effect on Friday. The Hurricanes have not won in Tri-City since December 11th/1999 – a span over nearly 15 years. And they will have to wait for another two years to try and snap the streak.
The Hurricanes fall to 6-16-3-1 on the season, and will have an opportunity to get back in the win column tomorrow when they take on the Spokane Chiefs.