Lethbridge Hurricanes (18-32-3-3) vs. Saskatoon Blades (16-36-2-1)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes returned home Saturday night on Family Weekend as they welcomed the Saskatoon Blades in hopes of picking up their third straight victory and got it for their sixth win in their last seven games earning a 5-3 victory in front of 3,777 at the ENMAX Centre.
Hurricanes started the first period with some jump and were the beneficiary of some early power plays and they made good on one. On the second advantage, Mike Winther burst in on the right side, hit Johnny Wesley on a pass rink wide, Wesley’s shot was stopped but the puck was free before Kord Pankewicz jammed it home to make it 1-0 just 7:18 into the game. At the 12 minute mark, Devan Fafard was set up by Florian Baltram and the big man sniped it high passed Nik Amundrud to make it 2-0 – the assist for Baltram extends his point scoring streak to three games. ‘Canes were out shot 7-6 in the first period.
Saskatoon started the second period on a power play as a late penalty in the first by Mike Winther was issued and just 16 seconds into the period Mason McCarty snapped home his fourth of the season to make cut the lead to just one, 2-1 ‘Canes. On a power play of their own, Tyler Wong fed one down low to Giorgio Estephan who worked out of the corner and shelfed one over Amundrud to restore the ‘Canes two goal lead making it 3-1 – Kade Jensen picked up the second assist. ‘Canes had some more chances, Carter Amson had a breakaway but couldn’t beat the Blades goalie. Saskatoon got another one from McCarty who chopped one by Stuart Skinner to make it a 3-2 game after two periods. Blades out shot the ‘Canes 14-12 in the second period, and led 21-18 after forty minutes.
Early in the third period, Saskatoon tied the game as Nick Zajac jammed home a loose puck to tie the game at three all just one minute into the third. Blades continued to to press in the third to try and take the lead but Stuart Skinner stood tall keeping things close. With just six minutes left in the game, Giorgio Estephan was sprung free on the right wing and snapped one by Amundrud to give the ‘Canes a 4-3 lead for his second of the night and 16th of the season. Carter Folk added an empty net to seal the deal as the ‘Canes win their third straight beating the Blades 5-3.
The Hurricanes were out shots 35-29 on the night. The ‘Canes go 2/5 on the power while the Blades went 1/3.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #9 Giorgio Estephan – (2 goals, including game winner)
2) Blades – #5 Mason McCarty – (2 goals, 1 assist)
3) ‘Canes – #20 Kord Pankewicz – (1 goal, 1 assist)
The Hurricanes improve to 14-1-1-1 when leading after two periods of play and have now won six of their last seven games picking up their 18th win of the season.
The ‘Canes are back at it Tuesday when they host the Kootenay Ice at the ENMAX Centre before a three game road trip through the US Division. ‘Canes will also host their fourth annual ATB Skills Competition Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm at the ENMAX Centre. Admission is FREE, but non-perishable food items are being accepted as donation for the Lethbridge Food Banks!