Lethbridge Hurricanes (36-14-0-0) vs. Vancouver Giants (20-27-3-2)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes played the second of a three game road trip on Saturday night in Vancouver against the Giants in hopes of beginning a new winning streak, but it was the Giants that scored four unanswered goals en route to a 4-2 victory.
It’s the first time since mid-November that the Hurricanes have lost back-to-back games. Cory Millette scored both goals for the Hurricanes in the loss while Jayden Sittler was sharp making 33 saves despite being handed the loss.
It was a fast-paced and entertaining first period. Both teams had some good looks early in the game but both Sittler and Giants’ netminder Ryan Kubic stood tall. Millette opened the scoring at the 8:31 mark of the opening period on a beautiful redirection off a Ryley Lindgren centering pass to make it 1-0 ‘Canes – Carter Folk drew the second assist. The Hurricanes were outshot 8-4 in the first period but led 1-0 after the opening twenty.
It was a see-saw second period the kicked off with a fight between Darian Skeoch and Taylor Crunk just eight seconds in. The Hurricanes had three power play opportunities in the period, but failed to convert on any of them. However, second after a their third power play had expired Millette beat Kubic low blocker to give the ‘Canes a 2-0 lead with just 5:16 left in the middle frame – Egor Babenko and Brady Reagan earned the assists. However, a power play goal by Trevor Cox at the 16:57 mark turned the game in favour of Vancouver. Just 1:52 after Cox’s goal, Alec Baer tied the game with a mid-slot shot that deflected off Nick Watson’s stick and in as the game was tied 2-2 after two period. Shots favoured the Giants 12-7 in the middle frame.
In the third, the Giants continued the momentum the developed in the final three minutes of the second. Vancouver outshot the ‘Canes 17-5 in the final twenty minutes and Chase Lang scored the eventual game winning goal with 9:55 left in the game as he willed the puck by Sittler to make it 3-2. The Giants added an empty netter as they’d go on to a 4-2 win.
Final shots in the game favoured the Giants 37-16 on the night. Both the Hurricanes and Giants were 0/3 on the power play.
Three stars in the game were:
1) Giants – #21 Brennan Mennell – (1 goal, 2 assists)
2) Giants – #11 Chase Lang – (1 goal, 1 assist, including game winner)
3) ‘Canes – #10 Cory Millette – (2 goals)
The Hurricanes are now 0-2-0-0 on their three game road trip that wraps up Tuesday in Kelowna against the Rockets in a first place showdown. The ‘Canes end the month of January with a 10-2-0-0 record, their best month of the season. The Hurricanes fall to 36-14-0-0 on the season, but remain five points up on the Red Deer Rebels for top spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand.