Lethbridge Hurricanes (16-32-3-3) vs. Moose Jaw Warriors (21-29-3-1)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes after just two days off got back at it Wednesday night at the ENMAX Centre as they hosted the Moose Jaw Warriors in the final meeting of the season between the two and the ‘Canes would get the season series split picking up a 6-3 victory.
Mike Winther returned from injury for the Hurricanes after missing the last two with an upper body injury. The ‘Canes were still without the services of Jaeger White and Brandon Kennedy who remain out with ailments.
Both teams came out flying in the first period creating scoring chances in the opening minutes. The Warriors had two great chances in the first two minutes of the game, but it was the ‘Canes who struck first as Florian Baltram jumped on a loose puck and slammed it by Warriors goaltender Zach Sawchenko who was caught out of position to make it 1-0 – Carter Folk picked up the lone assist to extend his point scoring streak to five games. Later in the period, Tanner Eberle tied the game with a bullet passed Stuart Skinner with a power play goal to make it 1-1 after one period. Shots favoured the Warriors 18-12.
It was the Stuart Skinner show in the second period as he made four outstanding saves. Moose Jaw beat him once early on as Jack Rodewald scored a shorthanded goal to give the Warriors their first lead of the night making it 2-1. Skinner showed his stuff after that making two unbelievable paddle saves, one on the leading goal scorer of the Warriors Eberle. That kept the game close, and on a power play, Mike Winther sniped home his ninth of the season to tie it up 2-2 – Kade Jensen and Kord Pankewicz picked up the helpers. Just under four minutes later another power play goal, this time by Johnny Wesley tucked home his third of the year from Jamal Watson and Andrew Nielsen to give the ‘Canes a 3-2 lead after two periods. Shots were tied 10-10 in the middle frame.
Early in the third period, Captain Jamal Watson made it a 4-2 lead for the ‘Canes after being sprung on a breakaway from Wesley and Watson made no mistake beating Zach Sawchenko just 2:48 into the period. Moose Jaw clawed back close as Jiri Smejkal beat Skinner up high to cut the lead to one. With under two minutes left in the game, Folk took a tripping penalty. Moose Jaw pulled the goalie but the ‘Canes added two empty netters, one by Watson and one by Nielsen to ice a 6-3 victory for the ‘Canes.
Lethbridge was out shot 13-6 in the third period and 41-28 overall. The ‘Canes went 2/5 on the power play, while the Warriors went 1/5.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – (38 saves)
2) Warriors – #13 Jiri Smejkal – (1 goal, 2 assists)
3) ‘Canes – #17 Jamal Watson – (2 goals, 1 assist, including GWG)
The Hurricanes have now won four out of their last five games and improve to 6-1-0-1 on Wednesday night games. The ‘Canes also improve to 12-1-1-1 when leading after forty minutes of play.
The Hurricanes are back at it on Friday night when they travel to Red Deer to take on the Rebels before returning home Saturday to host the Saskatoon Blades at the ENMAX Centre.