Lethbridge Hurricanes (13-9-0-0) vs. Prince George Cougars (11-9-1-0)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes had yet another third period lead slip away as the ‘Canes had their seven game home winning streak snapped with a 4-2 loss to the Prince George Cougars Friday night.
For the third time in their last five games the Hurricanes had a 2-1 lead after forty minutes only to have the opposition come back and win in regulation. It wasn’t for the lack of chances however as the ‘Canes had a plethora of high-quality scoring chances including three goal posts and two breakaways but Nick McBride was outstanding in the Prince George net.
The Cougars jumped out to a quick lead as Colby McAuley scored just 1:26 into the hockey game as he cut off the wall through the crease and beat an outstretched Jayden Sittler to make it 1-0 early in the game. The Hurricanes peppered McBride in the first period outshooting the Cougars 13-10 but trailed 1-0 after twenty minutes of play.
The ‘Canes continued to pour it on in the second period as Egor Babenko had two breakaways but was unable to beat McBride on either chance. They finally broke through however as Brett Davis bust in on the right win and snuck a backhand by McBride for his first WHL goal to tie the game 1-1 just 6:10 into the second period – Giorgio Estephan picked up the lone assist. Just over three minutes later, the ‘Canes took the lead as Justin Gutierrez scored his fifth of the year to give Lethbridge a 2-1 lead. The ‘Canes outshot the Cougars 11-8 in the middle period.
Despite a third period in which they outshot Prince George 10-6, the Hurricanes let the lead slip away. At the 8:12 mark Tate Olson beat Sittler from a long-range point shot high to the blocker to tie the game at 2-2. Four minutes later, Chase Witala emulated McAuley’s goal as cut through the crease sliding the puck by an outstretched Sittler to give the Cougars a 3-2 lead. With a late power play, the Hurricanes pulled Sittler for the empty net and a six-on-four attack but Sam Ruopp found the gaping net with 1:10 left in the game to seal a 4-2 win for Prince George.
The Hurricanes outshot the Cougars 34-24 in the game. ‘Canes went 1/4 on the power play while went 2/2 on the penalty kill.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #14 Brett Davis – (1st WHL goal)
2) Cougars – #33 Nick McBride – (32 saves)
3) ‘Canes – #23 Justin Gutierrez – (1 goal)
The Hurricanes are now 1-1-0-0 on their current five game home stand and fall to 8-2-0-0 on home ice this season. The loss also drops the ‘Canes overall record to 13-9-0-0 on the year. Lethbridge is back in action on Saturday night when they welcome the Saskatoon Blades at 7:00pm.
“Canes Crush Cancer” month continue with t-shirts available for $20.00 with the proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society. The Hurricanes will raise awareness about Skin Cancer on Saturday night.