Lethbridge Hurricanes (12-31-3-3) vs. Regina Pats (27-17-4-2)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes played the final of a four game in five night stretch on Saturday when they welcomed the Regina Pats to town in the final meeting between the ‘Canes and Pats. The ‘Canes looked for the season series split, but a four-goal second period helped Regina to a 6-2 victory at the ENMAX Centre.
On Friday, both Jamal Watson and Carter Folk returned to the line up, but sidelined on Saturday was the red-hot Tyler Wong. Nick Walters also missed his fifth straight game with a lower body injury.
It was a fast and entertaining first period that saw countless chances for both the Hurricanes and Pats. Daniel Wapple was outstanding – much like Kelowna’s Michael Herringer the night before – making a handful of terrific saves keeping the game scoreless. The Hurricanes, despite being denied multiple times, continued to press and a great shift for the Pavel Skumatov, Ryley Lindgren, and Mike Winther line, Kade Jensen found Skumatov open on the wing and the Russian fired one over the head of Wapple to make it 1-0 ‘Canes with just 4.1 seconds left in the period. Shots favoured the Pats 14-12 in the first period.
Regina took over in the second period scoring four goals in six minutes. Adam Berg banged one off the skate of ‘Canes defenseman Brady Reagan and passed Jayden Sittler to equalize the score with his first career goal. Austin Wagner gave Regina their first lead just 3:06 last at the 13:30 mark as he moved in and snapped one low to the blocker making it 2-1. On a power play, Sam Steel received a pass from Connor Hobbs in the slot and ripped one high blocker before Patrick D’Amico tucked one in to make it a 4-1 Regina advantage. The Hurricanes got a lucky one at the 17:11 mark as Wapple pulled a Patrick Roy and swatted the puck into his own net with his glove making it a 4-2 score after forty minutes of play. Regina outshot Lethbridge 24-5 in the middle frame.
In the third, the Pats added two more goals. First, former ‘Cane Taylor Cooper scored on a penalty shot to make it 5-2 before Austin Wagner added an empty netter to seal the deal leading Regina to a 6-2 win. Just their second victory since the trade deadline. The win for the Pats snapped a six-game losing streak.
Shots in the third favoured the Hurricanes 13-10. Overall, the Pats held the edge on the shot clock outshooting the ‘Canes 48-30 on the night. Lethbridge went 0/3 on the power play, while Regina went 1/6.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Pats – #24 Adam Berg – (1 goal, 1 assist, including first WHL goal)
2) Pats – #39 Sam Steel – (1 goal)
3) ‘Canes – #12 Pavel Skumatov – (1 goal)
The Hurricanes go 1-3-0-0 against the Pats this season. Lethbridge is back in action Tuesday night when they travel to Edmonton to face the Oil Kings at Rexall Place. It will be the last trip to Edmonton this season for the Hurricanes. They are 1-1 in the Alberta capital this year.