Lethbridge Hurricanes (19-35-5-3) vs. Red Deer Rebels (32-20-4-6)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off a five game road trip in Red Deer on Saturday night after a pit stop at home on Thursday. The ‘Canes, losers of five straight, would get a win knocking off the Rebels by a 3-2 score in a shootout.
Jayden Sittler made the start for the Hurricanes after picking up a 2-1 win in Red Deer back on February 13th posting a 26 save performance. Sittler, making his 15th appearance with the ‘Canes after being acquired from the Victoria Royals at the trade deadline.
It was a good start for the Hurricanes as they controlled the first eight minutes of the game out shooting the Rebels 7-3 early on. The ‘Canes had an early power play, but failed to capitalize on the man advantage. As the penalty expired, the Rebels took over with a strong shift by Adam Musil. Musil came around the net to let a shot go and the rebound fell to Reese Johnson who swatted home his first WHL goal to make it 1-0 at the 11:07 mark. Despite surrendering the first goal, the ‘Canes came back to tie the game just 4:04 later as Mike Winther extended his point scoring streak to eight games beating Rylan Toth for his 13th of the season. The Rebels out shot the Hurricanes 10-8 in the period.
The second period mirrored the first, except for the fact that the Rebels had the good start. Helped by an early power play opportunity, Red Deer fired eight shots on Sittler in the first three minutes of the game and one of them found the net as Musil tipped home a Connor Gay point shot on a power play to make it 2-1 Rebels at the 2:26 mark of the second. The ‘Canes once again tied the game as Tyler Wong snapped a 10-game goalless drought intercepting a drop pass, cut through the defense before tucking one by Toth for his 23rd of the season at the 13:05 mark; Wong now tied for the team lead in goals with Jamal Watson.
In the third period, the Hurricanes and Rebels each had their chances. Lethbridge out shot the Rebels by a 10-8 count in the period. Despite power play chances for both teams, no body would score sending the game to overtime tied up 2-2.
Just seven seconds into OT, Wyatt Johnson bust through the defense and drew a penalty shot. Johnson moved in on Sittler looking five-hole but the Hurricanes goaltender slammed the door and foreshadowed to what we would see later on. No one scored in overtime sending the game to a shootout.
On January 3rd in Lethbridge, the Rebels picked up a 3-2 shootout win, but tonight the Hurricanes returned the favour stunning the home town team as Sittler stopped four of five shooters in the shootout and Kord Pankewicz played hero scoring the winner beating Toth five-hole.
Three stars of the game in building:
1) Rebels – #25 Adam Musil – (1 goal, 1 assist)
2) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – (1 goal, 1 assist)
3) ‘Canes – #33 Jayden Sittler – (30 saves, 4/5 in the shootout)
The Hurricanes improve to 19-35-5-3 and snap a five game losing streak. They’re next in action on Wednesday night as they visit the Brandon Wheat Kings.