Lethbridge Hurricanes (6-2-0-0) vs. Swift Current Broncos (4-5-1-0)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes picked up their fourth straight victory on Saturday night with a 5-3 win over the Swift Current Broncos at Credit Union I-Plex. The win for the Hurricanes improves their record to 6-2-0-0 to start the season – the franchises best start through eight games since 2001-2002.
Tyler Wong once again scored for his WHL-leading 12th goal of the year, while four others lit the lamp in the victory. Jayden Sittler was again strong in the Hurricanes net stopping 40 of 43 shots he faced in the game for his fourth straight person victory – Sittler is now a perfect 4-0-0-0 in games he’s started this season, posting a 1.47 goals against average and a .947 save percentage; both third in the WHL.
The ‘Canes once again had a great start on the road putting pucks on the Broncos Travis Child early on and forcing him to make a few good saves. Wong broke through and scored on a partial two-on-one at the 13:50 mark snapping one high blocker to make it 1-0 after receiving a pass from Giorgio Estephan; Andrew Nielsen picked up the second assist after a beautiful stretch pass to Estephan. The Hurricanes outshot the Broncos 12-10 in the opening period and led 1-0 after twenty minutes.
In the second period, the ‘Canes came out flying. Nielsen scored his fourth goal of the season pinching up on the play as he buried a rebound off a Brayden Burke shot to make it 2-0 just 2:59 into the period; Ryan Vandervlis had the other helper for his first point of the season. Justin Gutierrez also added his fourth of the year just 1:35 later when he tapped the puck into an empty net as Wong, who had missed on a partial breakaway, centred in front and Gutierrez made no mistake making it 3-0. Burke picked up his third of the campaign as he tipped one home after a beautiful centering pass by Nielsen as the ‘Canes quickly jumped out to a 4-0 lead. However, the Broncos would begin to take over the game and chip away at the lead. First, former Hurricane Kade Jensen scored his second as a Broncos floating an ice-burner in from the blue line to make it 4-1 before Glenn Gawdin blew one by Sittler on a point shot on a power play to cut the lead to two, 4-2, heading to the third period.
The Broncos carried the play in the third period as the line of Gawdin, Jake DeBrusk and Jon Martin took it to the ‘Canes; but credit to the Hurricanes they kept them in check for most of the period as they only struck once. Martin jumped on a rebound at the 6:51 mark to beat Sittler on a rebound cutting the lead to 4-3 – Martin has registered an impressive 16 points (8g-8a) in six games since being acquired from Kootenay. Swift Current continued to buzz firing a total of 17 shots on goal in the period, but a perfect incept and a heads up play by Kord Pankewicz with just 1:20 left in the game saw him ice the victory scoring his first goal of the season into an empty-net to make it 5-3 Hurricanes.
The ‘Canes were outshot for just the second time this season as the Broncos edged them 43-30; the ‘Canes have hit the 30-shot plateau in all but one game this season. Lethbridge went 0/1 on the power play, while Swift Current went 1/4.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Broncos – #20 Jon Martin – (1 goal, 2 assists)
2) ‘Canes – #6 Andrew Nielsen – (1 goal, 2 assist)
3) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – (1 goal, 1 assist)
Four Hurricanes had multiple point nights – Nielsen (1g-2a), Burke (1g-1a), Wong (1g-1a) and Estephan (2a). For Burke, he has now registered seven straight multi-point games while Wong has put together six straight multi-point games, Nielsen four straight and Estephan four straight multi-point efforts.
The Hurricanes are next in action this coming Friday when they host the same Swift Current Broncos at the ENMAX Centre at 7:00pm before they hit the road for six straight games, including five through the BC Division.
Tickets are available for Friday’s game by calling (403) 329-SEAT.