Lethbridge Hurricanes (26-11-0-0) vs. Medicine Hat Tigers (12-20-3-1)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes returned to the ENMAX Centre after 24 days since their last home game to face the Medicine Hat Tigers in their final home game of 2015 and the ‘Canes didn’t disappoint picking up their sixth straight win with a 5-2 decision in front of 4,712 fans.
Giorgio Estephan and Tyler Wong led the way offensively as they each picked up three points. Estephan had a goal and two assists while Wong had two goals and a helper. Stuart Skinner improved to 14-6-0-0 on the year with a 43 save performance.
The ‘Canes jumped out to an early lead as Wong scored his first of two in the game just 2:37 into the game on a power play as the captain made it 1-0 – assists went to Estephan and Andrew Nielsen. Tigers were strong in the first period as they outshot the ‘Canes 18-11 in the period and eventually tied the game as Matt Bradley scored his 11th goal of the year to make it 1-1 at the 16:22 mark. However, a goal by Kord Pankewicz with 48 seconds left in the game gave the ‘Canes a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
The two played a pretty even second period with the Hurricanes holding the shot advantage by a 14-10 margin. Both teams had their chances but Skinner and Nick Schneider were both solid in net. The Hurricanes finally broke through as Estephan jumped on a loose puck after Jordy Bellerive hit the post and beat Schneider to make it 3-1 with his 17th of the season as the ‘Canes led by two after two.
In the third, the ‘Canes added a couple more. On a power play Arvin Atwal let fly with a point shot that found its way through the crowd and passed Schneider to make it 4-1 with 7:42 gone in the period– assists went to Egor Babenko and Kord Pankewicz. Just 2:20 later, Wong added his second of the game and 24th of the season to make it 5-1. The Tigers added a late goal by Chad Butcher but the ‘Canes would hang on for the 5-2 victory.
The Hurricanes were outshot 17-10 in the third period and 45-35 in the hockey game. The ‘Canes went 2/3 on the power play while they were a perfect 3/3 on the penalty kill.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #9 Giorgio Estephan – (1 goal, 2 assists, including the game winner)
2) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – (43 saves)
3) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – (2 goals, 1 assist)
The Hurricanes improved to 14-3-0-0 on home ice and 26-11-0-0 overall and remain first place in the Eastern Conference. The ‘Canes are back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to face the Calgary Hitmen at the Saddledome at 7:00pm.