Lethbridge Hurricanes (19-10-0-0) vs. Red Deer Rebels (19-9-0-0)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes played their final home game before the Christmas Break on the 20th Annual Canadian Tire Teddy and Toque Toss in front of 4,748 fans at the ENMAX Centre and the ‘Canes picked up a huge 6-2 win over the Red Deer Rebels.
Cory Millette and Justin Gutierrez each scored twice while Darian Skeoch scored his first WHL goal in the win. Jayden Sittler made 24 save to improve to 5-1-0-0 against his hometown team.
It didn’t take long for the Hurricanes to get on the board as Millette scored his first of two in the game just 4:06 into the first period on a power play to send the teddy bears and toques flying. Red Deer tied the game on a power play goal of their own as Conner Bleackley snuck one by Sittler to tie it 1-1. The Hurricanes and Rebels each had nine shots on goal.
The teams traded goals in the second period. First Justin Gutierrez scored his 13th of the season and first of two goals in the game to give the ‘Canes a 2-1 lead – Andrew Nielsen sprung Gutierrez on a breakaway and the overager snapped a shot by Rylan Toth. Red Deer again tied the game as Presten Kopeck jammed home a loose puck while shorthanded to tie it at 2-2. Shots were again even in the second with the ‘Canes having the edge 12-11.
In the third period, the Hurricanes dominated. The ‘Canes outshot the Rebels 15-4 in the final twenty minutes and scored four goals. First, Gutierrez jammed home his 14th of the year and his ninth goal in his last six games to make it 3-2. The ‘Canes added another as Skeoch sent a floater in by Toh at the 6:44 mark to make it 4-2. Millette scored his second of the night with a beautiful patient play out-waiting Toth to make it 5-2 and spelling the end of the night for Toth. The ‘Canes added one more before the period was out as Barrett Sheen tallied a power play goal with 38 seconds left for his second of the year – Brett Davis and Ryan Vandervlis picked up the assists.
The Hurricanes ousthot the Rebels 36-24 in the game. ‘Canes went 2/6 on the power play while Red Deer went 1/4 on the man advantage.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #10 Cory Millette – (2 goals, including Teddy Bear Toss goal)
2) ‘Canes – #23 Justin Gutierrez – (2 goals, including game winner)
3) ‘Canes – #3 Darian Skeoch – (1 goal, 1 assist, including first WHL goal)
The Hurricanes improve to 13-3-0-0 on home ice and 19-10-0-0 overall. The win pulls the ‘Canes into a tie with Red Deer for first overall in the Eastern Conference with 38 points. The Hurricanes are now 10-1-0-0 versus Central Division opponents.
The Hurricanes collected a total of 3,320 bears and 546 toques for a total of 3,866 donations in total! Thank you Lethbridge!
The ‘Canes now head out on an 11 day, six game road trip to head into the Christmas break. The ‘Canes next home game will be December 29th when they welcome the Medicine Hat Tigers at the ENMAX Centre.