Lethbridge Hurricanes (17-32-3-3) vs. Red Deer Rebels (28-18-3-5)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes, after winning their fourth out of their last five on Wednesday with a win over the Moose Jaw Warriors, traveled to Red Deer to take on the Rebels in hopes of extending their hot play winning their fifth of their last six games with a 2-1 win.
Red Deer product Jayden Sittler made the start for the Hurricanes in his hometown. Sittler, who’s family used to billet for the Rebels, played a strong game in front of family and friends stopping 26 of 27 shots he faced in the game.
In the first period, a few early power plays gave the Rebels a good opportunity to open the scoring, but the ‘Canes did a great job on the penalty kill getting their sticks in the shooting and passing lanes. Jamal Watson had the best chance of the first ten minutes on a breakaway but was stopped by Rylan Toth. Later in the period, Ryley Lindgren found Watson on another breakaway and this time the Captain made no mistake making a move to his back-hand to make it 1-0 – Mike Winther picked up the second assist. ‘Canes Andrew Nielsen took a holding penalty on former ‘Cane Riley Sheen, but it was Lethbridge who scored with Nielsen in the box as the ‘Canes scored their ninth shorthanded goal of the season. Florian Baltram chipped in a loose puck after Watson stormed the net to make it 2-0. The ‘Canes getting their goals just 1:13 apart to lead the game 2-0 after one period. Shots favoured the Rebels 7-6 in the first.
Neither team scored in the second period despite more shots than the first. The ‘Canes and Rebels both had some decent looks. The ‘Canes best chance was from Tyler Wong who drove the net and it appeared the puck was loose but Toth held it out. While the best chance for the Rebels came mid period as Sheen was buzzing on a shift. The former ‘Cane cut to the high slot and let a shot go but it rang off the post. The ‘Canes led 2-0 after two periods. Shots favoured the Rebels 20-13 after forty minutes.
In the third period, the Rebels got on the board with power play at the 4:18 mark as Preston Kopeck tipped home a PP goal to make it 2-1. Rebels continued to press, the best chance was another goal post by Riley Sheen but the ‘Canes would hold on for the 2-1 win.
Shots on goal in the game favoured the Rebels 27-19. ‘Canes went 0/3 on the power play, Rebels went 1/6.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #17 Jamal Watson – (1 goal, 1 assist)
2) ‘Canes – #33 Jayden Sittler – (26 saves)
3) Rebels – #19 Brooks Maxwell
The Hurricanes are now 5-1-0-0 in February and have won three straight on the road. They will host the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday at the ENMAX Centre.