Lethbridge Hurricanes (1-2-0-0) vs. Swift Current Broncos (1-2-0-0)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes put up a strong fight and pushed hard late in the third period but fell just short as the Swift Current Broncos skated to a 2-1 victory Friday night at the Coaldale Ice Arena in front of a capacity crowd of just over 600 fans.
Despite producing just the one goal and finding themselves in the undesired column, the Hurricanes played a fast and exciting game for the Coaldale faithful. The Hurricanes peppered Broncos goaltender Travis Child with 40 shots in the game, but the Swift Current goalie stood tall turning away 39 shots.
It was an exciting and fiery first period between the two teams. Neither team would find the back of the net in the opening frame despite numerous quality scoring chances. The Broncos and Hurricanes found themselves in multiple post-whistle scrums, two of which resulted in power plays for Swift Current but the Broncos failed to capitalize as they headed scoreless into the first intermission. The ‘Canes outshot the Broncos 13-11 in the first period.
The Hurricanes once again outshot the Broncos in the second period 14-11, but it was Swift Current that opened the scoring. On another Hurricanes penalty, the Broncos jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Brandan Arnold redirected an Artyom Minulin point shot up and over the shoulder of Hurricanes starter Brandon Kegler for the power play goal at the 11:50 mark. The Hurricanes also had two power play chances in the middle frame, but could not solve Child as the ‘Canes trailed 1-0 after forty minutes.
At the end of the second period, Tyler Wong and Tyler Adams dropped the mitts in a short, but spirited, fight. Adams picked up the two-minute instigating penalty along with a game misconduct as the Hurricanes would start the third period on the power play. It didn’t take long for the ‘Canes to strike as just five seconds into the final frame Justin Gutierrez found Egor Babenko off the opening faceoff and Babenko made no mistake firing one high over Child’s glove to draw the game even at 1-1. However, the tie didn’t last long as on yet another power play Scott Feser slipped one under the pad of Kegler’s pad with just three seconds left in a Kord Pankewicz holding minor to restore the Broncos one-goal lead. The ‘Canes gave it everything to try and tie the game creating multiple scoring chances in the dying minutes with the goalie pulled but fell just short dropping the game by a 2-1 score.
The Hurricanes outshot the Broncos by a 40-31, the third straight game with 36 or more shots in a game for the ‘Canes. Lethbridge went 1/3 on the power play, while Swift Current went 2/4.
With the loss, the Hurricanes fall to 1-2-0-0 in the ENMAX Pre-Season and travel to take on the same Broncos on Sunday in Swift Current before concluding the exhibition schedule with Thursday and Friday games against Kootenay and Calgary in Crowsnest Pass next week.