Lethbridge Hurricanes (20-43-5-3) vs. Swift Current Broncos (33-33-1-4)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes played their final home game of the season on Friday night as they played host to the Swift Current Broncos at the ENMAX Centre. The Hurricanes, who poured it on in front of their home crowd came up short dropping a 5-3 decision to the Broncos.
Tyler Wong, who cleaned up winning five of the ten Hurricanes awards before the game, returned from serving a one game suspension. Kord Pankewicz remained out of the line up serving the second of a two game suspension.
It was a fast-paced first period that saw both teams pepper the opposition’s goaltender. After terrific saves at both ends for Stuart Skinner and Landon Bow, the Hurricanes broke through and opened the scoring as Mike Winther roofed one by Bow on the back-hand just 7:41 into the first period – the lone assist went to Jamal Watson. The ‘Canes struck again when Giorgio Estephan squeezed one through the pads of Bow to make it 2-0 after one period – assists went to Brayden Burke and Kade Jensen. Broncos outshot the Hurricanes 16-14 in the first period.
Swift Current blew the doors wide open in the second period as Jake DeBrusk got them on the board just 58 seconds in on a power play goal. Former Hurricane Jay Merkley tied the game at the six minute mark with a blistering snap shot high to the glove of Skinner. DeBrusk added another just 1:56 later for his 41st of the season to give Swift Current their first lead of the game. Just one minute later, Andreas Schumacher tipped home a Jordan Thomson point shot to make it 4-2 for the Broncos. While the Hurricanes surrendered four goals, they outshot Swift Current 16-13 in the second.
Down a pair headed to the third period, the Broncos clamped things down before DeBrusk scored his third goal of the game and 42nd of the year to make it 5-2 Swift Current at the 8:44 mark. After that, the Hurricanes began to push and cut the lead to two when the Captain, Jamal Watson, forced a breakaway before making a move to his forehand slipping it by Bow to make it 5-3. ‘Canes continued to press, but could not beat Bow to get it falling their home finale.
Shots in the third period favoured the Hurricanes 16-9 in the third period, and 46-38 overall. It was just the third time this season the ‘Canes out shot and opponent. Hurricanes did not have a power play opportunity in the game, while Swift Current went 1/2.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #3 Nick Walters
2) ‘Canes – #4 Devan Fafard
3) ‘Canes – #21 Mike Winther – (1 goal)
The Hurricanes will wrap up the regular season on Saturday night when they travel to Swift Current in the second of the back-to-back, home-and-home with the Broncos.