Lethbridge Hurricanes (14-9-0-0) vs. Saskatoon Blades (9-9-3-0)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes got back in the win column Saturday night as they picked up a 5-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades in front of 3,977 fans at the ENMAX Centre.
The win for the Hurricanes improves their home ice record to 9-2-0-0 and 14-9-0-0 overall. The Hurricanes had five different goal scorers in the game while Stuart Skinner made 29 saves for his seventh victory. Cory Millette led all scorers picking up a goal and three assists for his first ever four point night.
Unlike the previous two home games, the Hurricanes struck first to give themselves an early lead. Egor Babenko scored his 12th goal of the season on a power play at the 5:14 mark to make it 1-0 – Millette and Justin Gutierrez picked up the assists. The ‘Canes added to their lead as Carter Folk scored his second of the season to make it 2-0. Brett Davis added his second in as many games making it 3-0 at the 14:31 mark as the Hurricanes were buzzing early. However, a pair of goals in quick success by Terrell Draude, first even strength and one on the power play, cut the lead to 3-2 heading to the first intermission. The Hurricanes were outshot 15-14 in the opening period.
The ‘Canes and Blades played a pretty even second period and it was the Hurricanes who added to their lead. Not to be outdone by Babenko, Ryley Lindgren scored his 12th of the season jumping on a loose puck in front of Nik Amundrud and lifted it over his blocker to make it 4-2 ‘Canes – Millette and Igor Merezhko earned the assists. Hurricanes were once again outshot in the period 11-10.
In recent games the third period has been the Achilles heel of the Hurricanes having let third period leads slip away but on Saturday it was a different story. The Hurricanes played a strong final frame eliminating the Blades and good quality scoring chances holding them to just five shots in the final twenty minutes. The Hurricanes iced the game when Millette matched his jersey number with his 10th of the season on a power play with just 1:18 left in the game – Arvin Atwal and Babenko picked up the helpers.
The Hurricanes outshot Blades 9-5 in the third period and 33-31 overall in the game. The ‘Canes went 2/5 on the power play while they had their penalty killing streak snapped at 16 consecutive kills as Saskatoon went 1/4 on the man advantage.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #10 Cory Millette – (1 goal, 3 assists)
2) Blades – #24 Terrell Draude – (2 goals)
3) ‘Canes – #22 Egor Babenko – (1 goal, 1 assist)
The Hurricanes are now 6-3-0-0 on Saturday’s this season and are 11-2-0-0 when scoring the first goal of the season. The ‘Canes are now 2-1-0-0 on their five game home stand and are off until Thursday when they welcome the Kootenay Ice at the ENMAX Centre.