Comeback Falls Short, Hurricanes Fall 6-5 to Pats

Wong-Estephan-Pats-KeithHershmillerPhotographyThe Lethbridge Hurricanes played the second of a six game pre-Christmas road trip on Saturday night in Regina. The ‘Canes spotted the Pats a 6-1 lead before battling back only to run out of time eventually falling 6-5.

The Pats scored three goals in both the first and the second period and it was enough to get them the victory. The line of Justin Gutierrez, Brayden Burke and Egor Babenko combined for nine points (3g-6a) in the losing cause as all three had a goal and two assists in the game.

The Pats came out flying opening the scoring just 1:04 into the hockey game as Connor Hobbs pinched in from the point and beat Jayden Sittler high to the glove on the first shot of the game to make it 1-0; the ‘Canes surrendered a goal 1:06 into the game last time they were in Regina. The ‘Canes equalized at the 8:20 mark as Babenko scored off a rush to make it 1-1 – lone assist went to Gutierrez. However, the Pats struck twice in the second half of the period. First, Colby Williams pinched in back door on a five-on-three power play to make it 2-1 before Adam Berg finished off a three-way passing play to give the Pats a 3-1 lead after twenty minutes of play. ‘Canes were outshot 13-8 in the opening period.

Things continued to unravel for the Hurricanes in the second period. Rykr Cole made it 4-1 as he beat Sittler at the 7:12 mark. Lane Zablocki made it 5-1 just 1:28 later spelling the end of the night for Sittler who allowed five goals on 19 shots in the game. Stuart Skinner replaced Sittler and he surrendered another goal as Sam Steel lifted one over the outstretched netminder to make it 6-1. Despite being down by five, credit to the ‘Canes who chipped away at the deficit. Ryley Lindgren scored a power play goal with 3:29 left in the second to make it 6-2 – assists went to Burke and Andrew Nielsen. Just 2:06 later, Giorgio Estephan scored his third goal in two nights to cut the lead to three heading to the second intermission. The ‘Canes outshot the Pats 16-13 in the second frame.

Hurricanes continued to chip away at the Regina lead. Gutierrez scored just 6:10 into the third period to make it 6-4 as Burke found him on a beautiful back door pass and the overager ripped it home for his 15th goal of the season. The ‘Canes got within one at the 11:18 mark as a shot attempt by Babenko deflected in off Burke’s skate to make it 6-5; the goal was reviewed but would stand setting up a wild finish. The Hurricanes had chances to tie the game but despite throwing everything at the Pats goalie Jordan Hollett the ‘Canes couldn’t find the equalizer as they ran out of time falling 6-5.

The Hurricanes outshot the Pats 12-9 in the final period and 36-35 in game. The ‘Canes went 1/2 on the power play while the Pats were 1/3 with the extra man.

Three stars of the game were:
1) Pats – #77 Adam Brooks – (2 assists)
2) Pats – #10 Adam Berg – (1 goal, 1 assist)
3) ‘Canes – #19 Brayden Burke – (1 goal, 2 assists)

The loss for the Hurricanes drops their road record to 7-8-0-0 as it snaps their two-game road winning streak. The ‘Canes fall to 20-11-0-0 on the season. The Hurricanes are back in action on Tuesday night when they visit the Prince Albert Raiders at 6:00pm mountain time.

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