Lethbridge Hurricanes (15-31-3-3) vs. Medicine Hat Tigers (35-15-1-2)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes hit the road on Saturday night for the second of a three-in-three weekend. The ‘Canes, who were coming off a 4-3 win on Friday night against the Medicine Hat Tigers, took on their Southern Alberta rivals for the final time this year and the ‘Canes held off the Tigers skating to a 4-1 win at The Arena.
It was the final time ever that the Hurricanes played at the old “Arena” in Medicine Hat. The Tigers will be moving to new digs starting next year. Success has been hard to come by in Medicine Hat recently for the Hurricanes having not won a game since March 17th/2012 leading into tonight.
The Tigers controlled the first period out shooting the Hurricanes 13-2 in the opening period, but Stuart Skinner picked up where he left off in Edmonton on Tuesday making some terrific saves. On their second shot of the game, the Hurricanes beat Nick Schneider through the legs as Ryley Lindgren one timed a pass from Carter Folk who was behind the net to make it 1-0 ‘Canes. Despite some great chances by the Tigers, including a few on a late-period power play, the ‘Canes went into the first intermission with a one goal lead.
In the second period, the Tigers continued to press and so would the Hurricanes. The ‘Canes had a few flurries in the first ten minutes of the period, but Schneider stood tall making a couple of big saves. A second half parade to the penalty box by the Tigers saw the ‘Canes have a lengthy five-on-three power play with Trevor Cox, Ty Stanton and Tyler Lewington all in the box. They’d fail to connect on the five-on-three, but at the tail end of the final penalty Kade Jensen snapped home his fourth of the year to make it 2-0 – Florian Baltram and Kord Pankewicz drew the assists. The ‘Canes were handed a penalty and the Captain Jamal Watson burst by Cox who was back and in ripped home his second short-handed goal of the year to make it 3-0. Shots in the second were 11-all.
The third was as exciting as the first two periods. The ‘Canes and Tigers traded chances, and just 1:49 into the period Cole Sanford was sprung free on a breakaway and made no mistake beating Skinner for his league-leading 43rd goal of the season cutting the lead to 3-1. The Tigers continued to press but could not beat Skinner who was sensational. Devan Fafard chipped in with his first as a ‘Cane into an empty net to seal the win.
Hurricanes were out shot 40-20 on the night. ‘Canes go 0/6 on the PP, while keeping the Tigers 0/5.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – (39 saves)
2) ‘Canes – #17 Jamal Watson – (1 goal in his 250th career game)
3) Tigers – #26 Cole Sanford – (1 goal)
The ‘Canes are now 2-0 in the first two games of a three-in-three weekend and will host the Brandon Wheat Kings to wrap it up tomorrow, a 4pm puck drop at the ENMAX Centre