Lethbridge Hurricanes (11-29-3-3) vs. Medicine Hat Tigers (34-12-1-1)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes played the first of a midweek back-to-back as they visited the Medicine Hat Tigers for the third time this season and the first time since December 28th when Nick Schneider and then ‘Canes goalie Zac Robidoux got in a fight. Despite a strong first period for the ‘Canes where they scored all three goals, the Tigers went on to a 6-3 win.
The ‘Canes were still without some key players as Nick Walters, Jamal Watson and Carter Folk all remained out with injury while Carter Amson served the first of a five-game suspension. The Tigers were also without many regulars as Tommy Vannelli, Ty Stanton, Steven Owre, Mason Shaw, Anthony Ast and Kyle Burroughs missed the game for the Tigers.
Hurricanes second round draft pick, 43rd overall in this past years draft Zane Franklin made his WHL debut. The just 16-year-old looked good in his first game in a ‘Canes uniform almost scoring in the third period.
The first period was a fast period. Tigers opened the scoring 3:32 into the game as Markus Eisenschmid buried his 14th of the night on a pass from Trevor Cox – Cole Sanford picked up the second assist. The Hurricanes however would equalize less than 30 as Tyler Wong snapped one home from the high slot for his 20th goal of the year to make it 1-1. The ‘Canes added another as Ryley Lindgren put one to the goal, the puck squeezed through Schneider and into the net for Lindgren’s second of the year – Florian Baltram and Brady Reagan picked up the assists (the first point as a ‘Cane for Reagan). Despite taking the lead, just 18 seconds later Eisenschmid beat Skinner for the second time to make it 2-2. Giorgio Estephan continued his hot hand as he received a pass from Brayden Burke, Estephan moved in on the right side and slipped one by Schneider to give the ‘Canes a 3-2 lead after twenty minutes of play. Shots favoured the Tigers 16-8 in the first.
Tyler Lewington scored twice in the second for the Tigers to give them another lead after forty minutes. The Tigers Captain scored his first at the 7:43 mark to tie the game 3-3 – Cole Sanford and Trevor Cox each picked up the assists on the goal. With just 8.3 second left in the period, Lewington stepped into another one as he beat Skinner on the blocker side to give Medicine Hat a 4-3 lead after two periods. Tigers held the edge in shots 11-8 and 27-16 through the two periods.
In the third period, the Tigers added a few more. First, Trevor Cox played give-and-go with Cole Sanford before snapping one high over the blocker of Skinner at the 2:49 mark to make it a 5-3 Tigers lead. Just under five minutes later, Medicine Hat added a power play goal as Chad Butcher tried to centre in front but it bounced off Kord Pankewicz into the back of the net to make it 6-3, and that was how it ended.
Final shots favoured the Tigers 39-25 in the game. ‘Canes went 0/4 on the power play while the the Tigers finished 1/3.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Tigers – #16 Markus Eisenschmid – (2 goals, 1 assist)
2) Tigers – #5 Tyler Lewington – (2 goals, including GWG)
3) Tigers – #36 Trevor Cox – (1 goal, 2 assists)
The Hurricanes return home Wednesday to host Sam Reinhart and the Kootenay Ice at the ENMAX Centre at 7pm tomorrow.