Lethbridge Hurricanes (17-9-0-0) vs. (6-19-2-0)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes completed a three-in-three weekend with a 3-2 win in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice; it was the fourth straight win against the Ice this season.
Justin Gutierrez scored his first career hattrick in the game to improve his point scoring streak to six games, while Stuart Skinner made 21 saves for his ninth victory of the season.
The Hurricanes came out flying in the opening period quickly taking it to the Ice. The Hurricanes opened the scoring for the 16th time this season when Gutierrez scored his ninth of the season at the 4:17 mark – assists went to Egor Babenko and Brayden Burke. Hurricanes held Kootenay without a shot for the first 11 minutes of the game; going back to Thursday’s game, the ‘Canes didn’t surrender a shot in the third period. A tripping minor to Carter Folk resulted in a power play goal for the Ice as Dylan Stewart snuck one through the pads of Skinner to tie the game 1-1 after twenty minutes. Shots favoured the ‘Canes 15-4 in the opening period.
Lethbridge continued to press in the second period as the ‘Canes peppered Wyatt Hoflin with 23 shots on goal – Hoflin was outstanding in the Kootenay crease stopping Carter Folk and Babenko on separate breakaways to keep Kootenay in the game. Gutierrez scored his second goal of the game at the 6:04 mark with a power play goal to give Lethbridge a 2-1 lead. Cory Millette and Ryley Lindgren picked up the assists. Despite not being able to beat Hoflin, the ‘Canes didn’t sway from the game plan and Gutierrez completed his first career hat-trick with just 44 seconds left in the middle period – Burke and Babenko picked up the helpers again as the ‘Canes led 3-1 through two periods. Shots favoured the ‘Canes 23-7 in the second and 38-11 after forty minutes.
Kootenay pressured in the third period. On another power play, with Carter Folk in the penalty box, the Ice would get within one as Matt Alfaro had a puck deflect to him at the side of the net and Alfaro beat Skinner who was out of position to cut the lead to 3-2. Chances for both teams in the remaining 19 minutes but the Hurricanes would hold on to pick up a 3-2 win over Kootenay for their fourth straight win.
The ‘Canes were outshot 12-5 in the third period, but outshot the Ice 43-23 in the game. The ‘Canes went 1/5 on the power play while Kootenay was 2/3.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #23 Justin Gutierrez – (3 goals, 1st career hattrick)
2) Ice – #30 Wyatt Hoflin – (40 saves)
3) ‘Canes – #19 Brayden Burke – (2 assists)
The Hurricanes have now won four straight games and snapped a six game road losing streak with the victory. The ‘Canes improved to 17-9-0-0 on the season and are next in action Wednesday when they welcome the Calgary Hitmen at the ENMAX Centre.