Lethbridge Hurricanes (6-18-3-1) vs. Swift Current Broncos (15-12-0-2)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off the month of December with an opportunity to put a woeful November behind them and move forward with a fresh slate that comes at the flip of the calendar, however, the ‘Canes were unable to kick of the final month of 2014 on the right foot as they fell 5-2 to the Swift Current Broncos Friday night at Credit Union i-Plex in Swift Current.
The Hurricanes, who arrived late to the game only pulling into the arena an hour ahead of puck drop, seemed to be affected by the disruption of routine and if not for Stuart Skinner, the score through twenty minutes might have been insurmountable.
The Broncos were firing on all cylinders to begin the game. They came out fast, hungry, and eager in their first home game in quite some time. The line of Andreas Schumacher, Glenn Gawdin and Coda Gordon was terrific all night, and they began their dominance early in the game as Schumacher beat Skinner on a tic-tac-toe goal at the 6:02 mark of the first giving Swift an early 1-0 lead. Later in the period, the Broncos would strike again as Colby Cave blasted a one-timer by Skinner at the 17:35 mark – for Cave, it was his 12th goal of the year, four of those have come in the two games against Lethbridge. Swift Current held the edge in shots 19-3 in the opening frame.
In the second, sparks flew as Nick Walters dropped the mitts with Kristian Ferletak which ended up being a pretty strong and lengthy fight become two seldom combatants. And the spark seemed to kick the Hurricanes right where they needed it to. Moments later, at the 9:22 mark Zane Jones slipped one through the legs of netminder Landon Bow cutting the lead to just 2-1. However, two goals 1:19 seconds apart for the Broncos gave them a three goal lead. First it was Coda Gordon scoring his first of two on the night, then it was former ‘Cane Jay Merkley scoring on a power play to give Swift a 4-1 lead after forty minutes. Broncos out shot the Hurricanes 13-8 in the second.
In the third, Zac Robidoux replaced Skinner who gave up four goals on 32 shots but was outstanding in the net making three top-tier saves to give his team a chance. Robidoux played pretty sound in his one period stopping all but one of 12 shots he faced in the game. The only one that beat him was a Gordon shot on a power play at the 9:29 mark to give the Broncos a 5-1 lead. Before the game was over, Taylor Cooper would add a late on with 1:13 left in the game to make it a 5-2 final.
Final shots favoured the Broncos by a 44-18 mark – only the third time this season the Hurricanes have failed to eclipse the 20 shot plateau.
The Hurricanes went 0/2 on the power play while the top ranked home ice man advantage went 2/6.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Broncos – #28 Coda Gordon – (2 goals, 1 assist, including GWG)
2) Broncos – #26 Andreas Schumacher – (1 goal, 1 assist)
3) Broncos – #15 Glenn Gawdin – (3 assists)
The Hurricanes record slips to 6-18-3-1 on the season and have now lost three straight games and 12 of their last 13 dating back to October 31st.
The ‘Canes will play game two of a two-game weekend Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre when they welcome Riley Sheen and the Red Deer Rebels to town on the 19th annual Canadian Tire Teddy and Toque Toss.