Lethbridge Hurricanes (1-1-0-0) vs. Medicine Hat Tigers (1-1-0-0)
A tough start to the game helped the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 5-3 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes Saturday night at the brand new Canalta Centre.
After a lengthy pre-game ceremony, the Tigers scored four goals in the first 10:28 of the opening period. The Tigers struck first at the 6:14 mark as Max Gerlach opened the scoring with a power play goal making it 1-0. Just 37 seconds later, the Tigers struck again as Mark Rassell threw one to the goal and it took a funny bounce off the side of the night, off of Stuart Skinner’s back and in. Two minutes later, another power play goal by Medicine Hat made it 3-0 just 9:00 minutes into the game – that goal put an end to Skinner’s night who allowed three goals on eight shots. Jayden Sittler came in to relieve him and he gave up a goal on the first shot he faced as Cole Sanford blew one by his glove with another power play goal to make it 4-0 earlier in the game. Tigers outshot the Hurricanes 14-9 in the first as they had a 4-0 lead after one.
The Hurricanes played a much better second period outshooting the Tigers 10-4 in the frame. The ‘Canes had their chances in the second period and finally got rewarded when Tyler Wong cut into the lead with his third goal of the season. Brayden Burke found Wong on a breakaway and the Captain made no mistake going high glove passed Nick Schneider to make it 4-1 — rookie defenseman Darian Skeoch picked up his first WHL point. The ‘Canes had a few more looks, but couldn’t beat Schneider as the Tigers led the game 4-1 after forty minutes.
In the third, the ‘Canes pressed. The Tigers played a shutdown game and it worked. With three-and-a-half minutes left in the game, head coach Brent Kisio pulled Sittler for the extra attacked down by three goals. The Hurricanes thought they scored, but after a review the goal was disallowed as it was deemed it was deflected in with a high-stick. Just seconds after play returned, Trevor Cox scored his second goal of the season into an empty net to make it 5-1. The Hurricanes added a few late goals – first Burke redirected home his first of the season with 1:28 left in the game before Egor Babenko scored a beauty with just 17 seconds left to get within two but it was too little, too late for the Hurricanes to forge a comeback as they fell 5-3.
The loss for the Hurricanes drops their record to 1-1-0-0 in the early season. The Hurricanes went 0/4 on the power play while the Tigers went 3/6 with the extra man.
Three Stars of the game were:
1) Tigers – #16 Max Gerlach – (1 goal, 1 assist)
2) Tigers – #31 Nick Schneider – (27 saves)
3) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – (1 goal)
The Hurricanes are next in action this coming Saturday when they travel to Cranbrook to face the Kootenay Ice before returning for a Sunday home game against the Kelowna Rockets at the ENMAX Centre.