Lethbridge Hurricanes (3-2-0-0) vs. Red Deer Rebels (4-1-0-0)
The Rebels were an undefeated 4-0-0-0 entering the game, but a two-goal performance by Andrew Nielsen and another two by Tyler Wong helped the Hurricanes improve to 3-2-0-0 on the season. Jayden Sittler made 27 saves in the victory for his second win of the year.
The ‘Canes from the start of the game pushed the pace and put shots on Rebels starting goaltender Trevor Martin who was shaky, but made quality stops early on. The Hurricanes finally got on the board as once again the Captain Tyler Wong scored to give the ‘Canes an early 1-0 lead as he buried his sixth of the season on a power play at the 7:52 mark – assists went to Brayden Burke and Giorgio Estephan. The Hurricanes were outshot 13-9 in the opening period.
In the second period the Hurricanes scored a pair while the Rebels added one themselves. Seconds after a power play expired, rookie forward Egor Babenko cut out of the right corner and stuffed one by Martin to make it 2-0 – Justin Gutierrez and Kord Pankewicz picked up the assists. A power play goal for the Rebels by Brandon Hagel cut the lead to one, but the ‘Canes struck again on the power play as Andrew Nielsen scored his first of two in the game at the 15:32 mark to make it 3-1 Lethbridge after forty minutes. The ‘Canes outshot the Rebels 19-4 in the second period.
Nielsen buried his second, again on the power play, 9:24 into the third period as he blew it by Martin to give the Hurricanes a 4-1 lead – Burke picked up his third assist of the game. Nielsen had another chance moments after for a hat-trick but failed to corral the pass. A late power play opportunity for the Rebels saw them pull their goalie for a six-on-four attack and it produced a goal by Adam Musil to make it 4-2 but Wong sealed the win with one minute left in the game to ice the 5-2 victory.
The Hurricanes went 3/6 on the power play while the Rebels went 2/5 on the man advantage. The Hurricanes for the second straight game surpassed the 40-shot plateau as they outshot the Rebels 40-29 on the night.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #6 Andrew Nielsen – (2 goals, including the game-winner)
2) ‘Canes – #33 Jayden Sittler – (27 saves)
3) ‘Canes – #19 Brayden Burke – (3 assists)
The Hurricanes improve to 3-2-0-0 on the season with the win and hand Red Deer their first loss of the new campaign. The Hurricanes are next in action on Friday when they welcome the Medicine Hat Tigers at the ENMAX Centre at 7:00pm.