Lethbridge Hurricanes (20-37-5-3) vs. Prince Albert Raiders (27-35-2-1)
-The Lethbridge Hurricanes wrapped up a three-game East Division road swing on Saturday night at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert against the Raiders in hopes of picking up their second straight win, but it was the Raiders picking up a 4-3 win.
Stuart Skinner, who made 41 saves in a 2-1 win on Friday against the Blades, got the start again having posted a 5-1-2-0 record in his last eight starts; Skinner was even busier Saturday facing 59 shots in the game, stopping 55 of them. The night was a special one for two of the three overagers for the Hurricanes. Nick Walters played in his 300th WHL game, while Mike Winther made his return to Prince Albert after the Raiders traded him to Calgary at the trade deadline last season.
It was a fast-paced first period that saw the Hurricanes come out with a much better start in the opening few minutes than what they had on Friday. The ‘Canes jumped out to a 3-0 shot advantage, but Prince Albert took over after that. Matteo Gennaro opened the scoring at the 9:42 mark as a shot from the wing was stopped by Skinner with the blocker but the puck dropped into the back of the net for a 1-0 PA lead. The Raiders made it 2-0 on a partial two-on-one as Darcy Zaharichuk slipped a back-hand pass to Dylan Stewart who tipped home his fifth of the season to give Prince Albert a 2-0 cushion after one period. Shot favoured the Raiders 19-7 in the first period.
It was a wild second period that saw the Hurricanes score three in the first 10:35 of the frame. Giorgio Estephan got things going snapping in a power play goal at the 2:43 mark for his 19th of the season – Kord Pankewicz and Brayden Burke picked up the assists. Another power play goal, this time by Johnny Wesley at the 9:06 for his sixth of the season to tie the game at deuces. ‘Canes got another, once again by Estephan who tucked home his second of the period to give Lethbridge their first lead of the game, 3-2 – assists went to Burke and Tyler Wong. However, a power play goal for the Raiders just 1:26 later by Reid Gardiner tied the game 3-3 after forty minutes. Raiders out shot the Hurricanes 22-8 in the second period, and 41-15 after two periods.
The craziness continued in the third period. There was three separate fights in the third, but only one goal as Reid Gardiner tipped home his second of the game and 31st of the season on a power play at the 6:50 mark to give the Raiders a 4-3 lead, and that was how the game would end.
The Raiders out shot the Hurricanes 18-9 in the third period and 59-24 overall. Both teams went 2/4 on the man advantage.
Three stars of the game in the building were:
1) Raiders – #19 Reid Gardiner – (2 goals, including the game winner)
2) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – (55 saves)
3) ‘Canes – #9 Giorgio Estephan – (2 goals)
The Hurricanes are next in action on Tuesday night when they visit the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook to wrap up a stretch of games that sees them play nine games in nine different cities.