Lethbridge Hurricanes (21-11-0-0) vs. Prince Albert Raiders (18-11-2-1)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes played the third game on a six game trip on Tuesday night in Prince Albert against the Raiders and the ‘Canes picked up a huge 5-4 victory in “Hockey Town North” to improve to 2-1-0-0 on their current trip.
Justin Gutierrez continued to roll offensively adding another goal and two assists while Egor Babenko and Brayden Burke continued their point scoring streaks. Stuart Skinner improved to 5-1-0-0 in his last six starts with 37 saves in the game.
The ‘Canes who were shutout by Rylan Parenteau in the first meeting of the season between the two teams on December 4th got to him quickly as they struck on the power play just 11:11 into the first period as Justin Gutierrez tipped home his 16th goal of the season to extend his point scoring streak to four games – Arvin Atwal and Egor Babenko each picked up assists on the power play goal. The ‘Canes made it 2-0 as Tyler Wong jumped on a loose puck to score his team-leading 22nd goal of the year – Kord Pankewicz had the lone assist on the play. However, the Raiders would strike late with a power play to make it 2-1 as Jesse Lees scored his 11th of the season on a power play. Raiders held the shot advantage 14-11 in the first period.
The Hurricanes jumped out to a 3-1 lead just 2:38 into the second period as Giorgio Estephan scored his 13th goal of the season to extend his goal scoring streak to three straight games after scoring just one goal in nine games previous; Estephan now has four goals in his last three outings – Wong picked up an assist on the play as well as Ben Duperreault who picked up his first point in a Hurricanes uniform. The Raiders once again got back within one as Jordan Tkatch scored his sixth of the year on a partial breakaway in his 300th WHL game to make it 3-2. But, the ‘Canes answered back. At the 14:15 mark, Brady Reagan stepped in with a shot that snuck through Parenteau’s legs to give the ‘Canes a 4-2 lead with a shorthanded goal – assists went to Gutierrez and Duperreault as the ‘Canes led 4-2 after two periods.
In the third period, the Hurricanes added to their lead early as Babenko scored his 17th of the season after pouncing on a loose puck after a Gutierrez shot came rocketing off the pad of Parenteau as Babenko made it 5-2 – second assist went to Brayden Burke. The goal for the Hurricanes was the end of the night for Parenteau who was replaced by Ian Scott and that appeared to wake up the Raiders. At the 9:00 mark, 16-year-old Parker Kelly flew in down the right wing before labeling one high over the blocker of Skinner to make it 5-3. Just 44 seconds after the Kelly goal, Tkatch scored his second of the night to make it a 5-4 game. The ‘Canes were outshot 15-6 in the third period but held on for the one-goal victory.
The Hurricanes were outshot 41-28 in the game. The ‘Canes went 1/5 on the power play in the game while the Raiders were 1/3 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Raiders – #24 Jordan Tkatch – (2 goals, 1 assist)
2) ‘Canes – #23 Justin Gutierrez – (1 goal, 2 assists)
3) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – (1 goal, 1 assist)
The Hurricanes improve to 8-8-0-0 on the road this season and have won three of their last four road games. The ‘Canes improve to 21-11-0-0 on the season, surpassing their total of victories from 2014-2015.
The ‘Canes continue their trip on Wednesday night when they visit the Saskatoon Blades for the first time this season. Game time is 6:00pm mountain time and can be seen on SHAW.