Lethbridge Hurricanes (28-12-0-0) vs. Swift Current Broncos (12-23-4-1)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes, four days after defeating the Calgary Hitmen, looked to string another winning streak together as they welcome Swift Current at the ENMAX Centre and the ‘Canes picked up a 5-2 win over the Broncos.
It wasn’t a flash-and-dash type game, but the Hurricanes found a way to the victory. Giorgio Estephan scored yet another two goals to extend his personal goal scoring streak to six games – he has nine goals in that span.
The Hurricanes opened the scoring just one minute into the hockey game as Jordy Bellerive sniped home his third of the season to open the scoring 1-0 – Igor Merezhko picked up the lone assist on Bellerive’s first goal on home ice. Swift Current tied the game at the 8:23 as former Hurricanes Kade Jensen for his seventh of the season to make it 1-1. The ‘Canes retook the lead with 3:58 left in the period as Justin Gutierrez caught Travis Child cheating off the post and lifted his 19th goal of the season to make it 2-1 after twenty minutes. ‘Canes outshot the Broncos 17-12 in the opening period.
It was a scrappy and greasy second period. The Hurricanes controlled the play down low with excellent puck control below the goal lines and cycled the puck to create offensive chances. The ‘Canes finally broke through late in the period while on the power play as Ryley Lindgren tipped home his 19th of the season, and ninth power play goal, to give Lethbridge a 3-1 lead after forty minutes – Brayden Burke and Arvin Atwal picked up the helpers. Shots were tied 9-9 in the middle frame.
The ‘Canes added two more in the third, both off the stick of Estephan. The Edmonton product scored his 21st of the season on a one-timer after Tyler Wong made a beautiful cross-ice pass and Estephan made no mistake beating Child five-hole to make 4-1. The Broncos added another on a redirect as Arthur Miller made it 4-2 but an empty-net goal by Estephan sealed a 5-2 win for the ‘Canes.
Shots in the third period favoured Swift Current 10-9, but the ‘Canes held the advantage in the game 35-31. The ‘Canes went 1/2 on the power play while the Broncos were 1/3.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – (29 saves)
2) ‘Canes – #15 Jordy Bellerive – (1 goal)
3) Broncos – #19 Lane Pederson – (1 assist)
The victory for the ‘Canes improves their home ice record to 16-3-0-0 on the season – the most home ice victories in the Western Hockey League – and their overall record to 28-12-0-0 on the year. The ‘Canes remain in top spot in the Eastern Conference with 56 points – tied with the Red Deer Rebels who the Hurricanes will face on Friday night in Red Deer.