Lethbridge Hurricanes (15-32-3-3) vs. Brandon Wheat Kings (41-9-3-2)
A four goal first period helped the Brandon Wheat Kings to a lopsided 7-2 victory Sunday afternoon at the ENMAX Centre ending the Lethbridge Hurricanes three-game winning streak.
It was the third game in as many days for the Hurricanes after picking up back-to-back victories over the Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday and Saturday. It was also the third game in three days for the Wheat Kings to picked up a pair of wins in Cranbrook.
Brandon came out swinging in the first period scoring four goals in the first 10:21. At the 2:26 mark, Quintin Lisoway snapped one over the shoulder of Jayden Sittler to make it 1-0. Just 54 seconds after, Colton Waltz centered to Peter Quenneville to quickly tucked home a 2-0 lead. With 8:48 gone in the game, Rihards Bukarts scored his second of the season against the ‘Canes making it 3-0 as Reid Gow and former ‘Cane Reid Duke picked up the helpers. Just under two minutes later, Calgary Flames first round draft pick Morgan Klimchuk sped by Kade Jensen to the net before beating Sittler to make it an early 4-0 lead. Sittler was replaced by Stuart Skinner after giving up four goals on nine shots. Hurricanes picked up some momentum late in the period after killing off a goaltender interference penalty to Brayden Burke, but trailed 4-0 after one period. ‘Canes were out shot 15-6 in the opening frame.
In the second period, the teams traded goals. Lethbridge struck 2:22 into the second period as Carter Folk and Giorgio Estephan broke in on a two-on-none. Estephan centered to Folk who made no mistake scoring his ninth of the season and second shorthanded goal to extend his point scoring streak to four games (he has goals in three of those games) to cut the lead to 4-1 – Kord Pankewicz picked up the second assist. Wheat Kings continued to get power play opportunities, but the ‘Canes penalty kill was rock solid. Brandon made it a 5-1 lead at the 15:16 mark when Tyler Coulter banged home his 10th from Reid Duke and Macoy Erkamps to see Brandon lead by four after forty minutes. Shots favoured the Wheaties 24-8 in the second.
Brandon continued to press in the third period but Skinner stood tall making big save after big save, one of his best coming on Eric Roy as Skinner slid left to right to stop him. At the 6:40 mark, Bukarts added his second of the night and 23rd of the season to make it 6-1. They made it 7-1 as Braylon Shmyr scored on a power play. ‘Canes added a power play goal of their own as Giorgio Estephan sniped home his 14th of the season, Tyler Wong drew the lone assist on the play to make it a 7-2 final.
Hurricanes were out shot 16-11 in the third period, and 55-25 overall. Lethbridge went 1/3 on the power play, and scored on their only full PP opportunity. ‘Canes kept the top-ranked power play in the WHL to a pedestrian 1/6.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Wheat Kings – #13 Rihards Bukarts – (2 goals, including GWG)
2) Wheat Kings – #27 Reid Duke – (2 assists)
3) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – (43 saves in relief)
Despite the loss for the Hurricanes, Lethbridge picks up four out of six points on a three-in-three weekend with two wins over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The ‘Canes three-game winning streak comes to an end.
The ‘Canes are back at it on Wednesday night when they host the Moose Jaw Warriors at the ENMAX Centre, puck will drop at 7pm.