Lethbridge Hurricanes (9-21-3-2) vs. Medicine Hat Tigers (25-9-1-1)
Less than 24 hours after knocking off the Medicine Hat Tigers by a 6-5 score in the first game back from the ten day Christmas break, the Lethbridge Hurricanes traveled to Medicine Hat for the second of a home and home in hopes of extending their winning streak to four. But it was the Tigers that skated to a wild 8-4 victory at “The Arena”.
Trevor Cox and Cole Sanford led the way for the Tigers in the win. Cox had a game-high six points (2g-4a) while Sanford chipped in with a modest five points (3g-2a) in the game. The game saw a little bit of everything from a slew of goals, to a goalie fight between Zac Robidoux and Nick Schneider.
The game had a playoff feel from the opening puck drop as the first 6:58 went by without a single whistle. The teams traded first period goals. First Zane Jones got the ‘Canes on the board roofed one over the shoulder of Schneider to make it 1-0 Lethbridge. However, just over seven minutes later Cox scored the first of six points on the night snapping one high over the glove of Robidoux to see the game tied 1-1 after twenty minutes. Tigers held the edge in shots 17-9 in the first period.
In the second, the Tigers took over. After a Kyle Becker goal at the 5:34 mark, Giorgio Estephan scored his third in as many games to make it 2-2 just 6:51 into the middle frame. But it all went downhill from there for the Hurricanes. A Carter Folk turnover at the Medicine Hat blue line was picked off by Sanford who sprung Cox on a breakaway who moved in ans slipped one through the legs of Robidoux to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. A pair of power play goals by the Tigers extended their lead to 5-2 as Sanford snapped home his first of three on a five-on-three before Anthony Ast beat Robidoux low to the glove on a regular advantage. Medicine Hat out shot Lethbridge 20-3 in the period.
Sanford scored twice in the first 1:53 to complete the hattrick and make the score 7-2. The Hurricanes scored the next goal to snap the 5-0 run the Tigers went on. Jamal Watson scored to extend his goal scoring streak to three straight, while his point streak to four as he made it 7-3 at the 6:40 mark – Taylor Cooper and Kord Pankewicz picked up the helpers. After that, everything went crazy. A scrum that saw all ten skaters on the ice collide in the corner with every guy taking a man saw Pankewicz escape the crowd grappling with Matt Staples and they would go toe-to-toe at the Tiger blue line while everyone continued to engage in the corner. While Pankewicz and Staples were fighting at the blue line, Robidoux and Schneider both made their way to centre ice, removed their masks, blocker and glove and starting chucking mitts. Robidoux got the better of Schneider in the fight and both would be ejected from the game as Stuart Skinner and Marek Langhamer entered the game to mop up. Both teams added a goal, Jaeger White at the 12:16 mark before Steven Owre potted on with 3:52 left to see the 8-4 final.
The Hurricanes, while scoring four goals for the fourth straight game, only mustered 17 shots on goal while the Tigers had 50.
Lethbridge went 0/1 on the power play while Medicine Hat went 2/6.
Three stars in the building were:
1) Tigers – #26 Cole Sanford – (3 goals, 2 assists)
2) Tigers – #36 Trevor Cox – (2 goals, 4 assists)
3) Tigers – #15 Ty Schultz – (2 assists)
The Tigers and Hurricanes won’t meet again until January 27th back in Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes are next in action Tuesday when they visit the Calgary Hitmen at Scotiabank Saddledome in downtown Calgary – faceoff is 7pm.