Lethbridge Hurricanes (8-2-0-0) vs. Edmonton Oil Kings (3-7-2-0)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off a season-long six game road trip on Saturday night in the Alberta Capital and won their sixth straight game with a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rexall Place.
A span of 2:04 early in the third period saw the Hurricanes erase a two goal deficit and take the lead which they never gave up. Egor Babenko scored twice in the game for his first career multi-goal game while Andrew Nielsen and Arvin Atwal added the others in the win.
Both teams played a very sloppy first period with a lot of neutral zone play, but the ‘Canes opened the scoring for the seventh straight time this year as Babenko picked up his sixth goal of the season 12:28 mark of the first period – Carter Folk picked up the lone assist. The Oil Kings had chances to tie the game, but Stuart Skinner was sharp stopping all 10 shots he faced in the first period. The Hurricanes had 11 shots in the period.
Edmonton controlled the second period outshooting the Hurricanes 21-4 and jumped out to a two-goal lead after forty minutes of play. Andrew Koep tied the game with a shot high to the glove at the 3:40 mark on the power play to make it 1-1. The OK’s continued to press and control the play in the ‘Canes zone and when Lethbridge had a chance, Edmonton was strong defensively getting the sticks in passing lanes. Chance Patterson beat Skinner on a long-range shot for his first WHL goal to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead. Just 17 seconds later, the Oil Kings extended their lead to 3-1 as Colton Kehler scored with just 1:58 left in the second.
After killing off a penalty that was issued to Babenko early in the third period, the Hurricanes picked up momentum from that point on. After serving the penalty, Babenko drew a tripping penalty and he made the Oil Kings pay as the Russian rookie potted his second of the game and seventh of the season at the 5:26 mark on the power play to make it 3-2 – assists went to Atwal and Nielsen. Just 44 seconds later, Nielsen beat Edmonton start Patrick Dea on a point shot to tie the game 3-3. On yet another power play, the Hurricanes struck again as Atwal scored the eventual game winning goal just 7:30 into the third to make it 4-3 – Kord Pankewicz and Cory Millette picked up the helpers.
The Hurricanes were outshot 41-26 on the night. Lethbridge went 2/5 on the man advantage while Edmonton went 1/4.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #22 Egor Babenko – (2 goals)
2) ‘Canes – #4 Arvin Atwal – (1 goal, 1 assist – including the game-winner)
3) Oil Kings – #6 Chance Patterson – (1st WHL goal)
The win for the Hurricanes extends their winning streak to six straight games and improves their record to 8-2-0-0 on the year. The win also sees the ‘Canes leapfrog Calgary for second place in the Central Division and just four points back of Red Deer for the division lead – the ‘Canes have played four less games then both the Hitmen and Rebels.
The Hurricanes continue their six-game road trip on Tuesday when they face the Victoria Royals.