Lethbridge Hurricanes (16-9-0-0) vs. Brandon Wheat Kings (14-8-0-2)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes made it three straight wins concluding a five game home stand with a 4-1-0-0 record as they picked up a 4-2 win over the defending Eastern Conference champion Brandon Wheat Kings Friday night in front of 3,215 at the ENMAX Centre.
Justin Gutierrez scored a pair of goals, including the game winner, while Tyler Wong and Egor Babenko added the others in the victory. Jayden Sittler made 23 saves for his eighth win of the season.
For the 15th time this season, the Hurricanes opened the scoring as Babenko capitalized on a John Quenneville give away as he beat Jordan Papirny high to the blocker just 2:23 into the hockey game for his 13th of the season to make it 1-0. Quenneville, however, got redemption as he tied the game at the 8:40 mark with a shot over Sittler’s blocker. Brandon took the lead when Tanner Kaspick redirected his seventh goal of the year passed Sittler to make it 2-1 Brandon heading into the second period.
The ‘Canes didn’t take long to tie the game as Wong scored his team-leading 18th of the year 1:34 into the middle frame – Giorgio Estephan picked up the lone assist to make it 2-2. The ‘Canes took the lead when Gutierrez scored his first of two on the night on a two-on-one rush beating Papirny low to the glove just 1:59 after Wong’s goal to make it 3-2 Lethbridge. The Hurricanes outshot the Wheat Kings 17-10 in the second period.
Much like the third period in Thursday’s game, the Hurricanes clamped it down on Friday. The Hurricanes outshot the Wheat Kings 10-6 in the third period and Gutierrez scored his eighth of the season to make it 4-2. Brandon had some chances late, but the Hurricanes closed it out picking up their 11th home victory of the season.
The Hurricanes outshot the Wheat Kings 35-25 on the night. The ‘Canes went 0/2 on the power play and were 4/4 on the penalty kill.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #23 Justin Gutierrez – (2 goals, including game winner)
2) ‘Canes – #22 Egor Babenko – (1 goal, 2 assists)
3) Wheat Kings – #17 John Quenneville – (1 goal)
The Hurricanes improved to 11-2-0-0 on home ice this season and 16-9-0-0 overall on the season. The ‘Canes wrap up a three-in-three weekend Saturday night when they visit the Kootenay Ice at Western Financial Place at 7:00pm.