Lethbridge Hurricanes (2-1-0-0) vs. Kootenay Ice (1-3-0-0)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off a busy weekend the exact way they wanted to on Saturday night as they picked up a 5-1 win over the Kootenay Ice at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook.
A four point night by Giorgio Estephan helped pace the Hurricanes to the victory as the Sabres draft pick scored once while adding three assists. Jayden Sittler made his first start of the season and stood tall making 25 saves in the victory.
It didn’t take long for the Hurricanes to get on the board as Estephan buried a one-timer from the high slot passed the Ice start Declan Hobbs to give the ‘Canes an early 1-0 lead just 1:08 into the hockey game – Tyler Wong and Arvin Atwal picked up the helpers. Just 1:39 later, the Hurricanes struck again as Igor Merezhko centered a puck that deflected right to Jordy Bellerive and ripped home his first WHL goal at the 2:47 mark; Estephan picked up the second assist on the goal. The Hurricanes outshot the Ice 16-11 in the first period.
The Hurricanes continued to play strong in the second period outshooting the Ice 14-4 in the frame. The ‘Canes had a pair of power play chances in the period but failed to capitalize while their penalty kill was strong killing both penalties the ‘Canes took in the frame. The Hurricanes added to their lead late in the second as Estephan picked up his third point as he centered to Brayden Burke who snapped home his second of the season to make it 3-0 after two periods.
A power play goal early in the third by Ryley Lindgren made it 4-0; Lindgren picking up his first goal of the season as he redirected an Estephan pass into the net. Just nine seconds later, Cory Millette scored his first as a Hurricane on a back-hand rebound passed Hobbs to make it 5-0. Kootenay got one back as Jon Martin scored a power play goal at the 3:34 mark to snap the shutout bid by Jayden Sittler.
The Hurricanes went 1/8 on the power play while the Ice went 1/6. The Hurricanes outshot the Ice 39-26 in the contest.
Three stars of the game in the building were:
1) ‘Canes – #9 Giorgio Estephan – (1 goal, 3 assists)
2) ‘Canes – #33 Jayden Sittler – (25 saves)
3) ‘Canes – #15 Jordy Bellerive – (1 goal, including game-winner)
The Hurricanes play the second of a back-to-back when the host the Kelowna Rockets at the ENMAX Centre Sunday evening, a 6:00pm puck drop against the defending WHL Champions.